Friday, March 18, 2011

Review of The Master and Margarita at Strawdog Theatre Company

I went to this play, and it was called Master and Margarita. It was at Strawdog Theatre Company, and it was a very creepy play. There were so many characters in it that I couldn't keep track of all of them at the same time. The play was fun, heartbreaking, and silly. And there were a lot of scary parts in it. People's heads got chopped off. It was so fun because there were these scary parts and these not scary parts. I thought it was great.

There was a whole entire magic thing, and the devil Woland said at the party that he was actually not a magician--he was a devil. Devils can do magic, but most magicians cannot do real magic. They were doing magic tricks on the stage, but the devil Woland was doing actual magic. Magic tricks are not actual magic; they are just things that people believe are actual magic, but they are not. I thought the actors did a great job doing the magic tricks, and most people believed it was real magic.

Tom Hickey played the devil Woland. The devil Woland was a cool and crazy character. I don't mean like crazy like blublublublu. I mean like crazy like "I can make this hat into a marshmallow! Now I'll pull marshmallows out of this marshmallow! Now everybody can have a marshmallow!" Magic crazy. One of his eyes was blue, and one was brown. The devil looked creepy with that. He seemed to kind of be a good person but he did some things that were bad. He did stuff that was great but terrible. Like in Harry Potter. He told Master and Margarita how to live forever, and that was good. He killed somebody, and I did not like that.

The Master was played by Dennis Grimes. When he met Margarita, that was the kissing part. There was a lot of kissing. They just met and--bup a dah!--they were in love! It felt like they were in love because he picked up the flowers for her, and when you are in love you just do stuff for the person that you love. And he did a lot of cool stuff like when he said, "Your nurse is very kind, but mindless." The nurse was played by Shane Brady. I thought he was funny because he dressed up like female nurse. Everybody did know that he was not a girl because he had some of a beard, and his feet were too big for the shoes, and he had hairy legs, and he wore a wig.

Margarita was played by Justine Turner. Justine was very good when she gave him the cap--she looked very excited, like she was really going to give someone a present. Margarita was sometimes really loving The Master, like when she was helping The Master to calm down. She was the queen at the death party, and she got in return The Master. There was a scene where Margarita set Frieda (Christy Arington) free and forgave her for smothering her baby. That's how it was shown that Margarita was very kind. I did not know what smothering meant when I saw it, but now I know and it makes me feel sad. There was this part where there was this golden ointment. And it made Margarita's skin shine, and then her servant (Sarah Goeden) got it on too and came to the Devil with her pig. It is cool because it was supposed to be golden. At least Margarita wasn't all the way naked. They said take off all your clothes, but she didn't. Just some of them, luckily.

Andy Lawfer played the cat. And the cat's name was really long--Behemoth--that's a pretty long name. It kind of sounds like "be my myths" because some of the stories that The Master likes are myths. There is lots of magic in myths and in this story it was kind of a myth and kind of not myth. What was not mythical about it was that writers can write about Jesus. A giant cat named Behemoth is mythical. They named him Behemoth because he was not just a regular cat--he was like an ax-murderer cat because he cut off people's heads. He does kill all the bad guys so that makes him a hero--he's like the superhero of the story. There's nothing that he really does bad. Because he works with devil-- that's why everyone thinks he's baaaad.

Loretta Rezos, she played the prettiest servant in the world, Hella. You are great, Devil. You make great clothes for your servant! (Who really made the clothes was not the Devil; it was Joanna Melville.) I liked when she was delivering the telegrams, and it was like and back forth back forth. She just kept coming out and back in--it was cool and funny. It was like "I am coming in; here's some mail!" Out in. Out in.

Fagott was played by Danny Taylor. The silliest man in the world--but he is just a character. And he was really funny when he like does this long speech when Margarita comes to the dance, and he says "And her name must be Margarita" and it goes on and on until he finally lets her in. Fagott's make up was really weird because it had waves over his eyes like eyebrows. Aly Renee Amidei did the makeup. I think she was trying to make it look like he was supposed to not blend in so that everybody would see him except for the actors who were pretending not to see him.

Anita Deely played Azazello. She was a person that hated the Cat. She just hated the cat, and one of the lines she said to the Cat was, "I still think we should drown you." Isn't that kind of funny? She had a manly voice and she dressed in pants, boots, a bow tie, a shirt, and a mask. I think I would describe her as cool. She is a messenger for Woland. And she went to go tell Margarita to come. She came because then Margarita could do whatever she wanted, and she would be free.

The play that The Master was writing was about Pontius Pilate. The prisoner was also played by The Master. The prisoner was Jesus. Why did everybody not like the idea of a play about Jesus? Because people in that time in Russia could not have any churches. Ian Maxwell was Pilate. The first scene was hearing Pontius Pilate talking to a prisoner. You think, poor prisoner and that the play is all about Pontius Pilate and the prisoner. It just turns out to be a play about the Devil and it is not all about Pilate; that is just a play they are doing. At the end, Pilate goes to see his dog and is absolutely happy.

Ivan was played by Kyle A. Gibson, and he was the younger playwright. At the end he was having dreams about The Master and Margarita. Then sometimes he dreamed about the play that The Master wrote and he realized he liked it better than his own play. You don't like him at first, but then you start to like him because then he starts to like The Master and Margarita.

Dan Granata played Trepan. Trepan was the director and he went to Yalta. There was a funny line where all the people who worked with the devil Woland all were in Yalta, and Trepan said "Where am I?" and then all of the devil Woland's group said "You're in YALTA!" It seemed like he was on a game show, sort of. Like one that gives him Yalta as the gift.

Ron Thomas played Berlioz. He was an older writer who was a critic. He didn't seem like a critic; he seemed like an idiot. He was always with his friend Ivan except when he was dead. The audience is not supposed to like Berlioz at all. When he gets his head chopped off we all feel kind of sorry for him and grateful sort of at the same time.

There is a scene which was the dance scene. It was really cool and creepy because there were people that were all dressed up like very famous murderers that died. There was a part where Margarita flew. I thought that was amazing!! Eileen Mallary designed the dances; I thought it was cool. Before the party when Margarita came in, the devil Woland asked Behemoth that "Why should you wear a bow tie if you are not wearing trousers?" And then Behemoth says, "Cats don't wear trousers." I thought that was really funny. I loved it! There was a creepy severed head at the party. That was soooo cool and disgusting.

At the end of the play the Devil says, "I liked all of it. The only thing that I don't like is that it is not finished yet." It would be like "Then Pilate started to go and find his dog and..." and there is like this pause and it doesn't have the end yet." I thought it was kind of cool and kind of sad.

I think it should be for ages 8 and up, but I am really glad I saw it because it is such a great play. People that like severed heads and kissing and dancing and creepy people would like this play. And be prepared to think that you are never going to see The Master again, but then you see him even though he disappears for an entire half. And be prepared for talking severed heads.

Photos: Chris Ocken

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