Thursday, April 28, 2011

Review of The Conquest of the South Pole at Strawdog Theatre Company

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Conquest of the South Pole. I saw it at Strawdog. It was cool. Get it? Cool!

It was directed by Kimberly Senior. It wasn't as funny as Cherry Orchard--she also directed that play. This one was more dramatic. She chose a play with guns, miners who don't have jobs, grown-up talk, words that some children would rather not hear (but not me, I am okay with this kind of talk), and no speech to a bookcase. It was less for kids. It was a good play still.

It is about a fake conquest of the South Pole--as you can see in the title, except for the fake part. It is not actually at the South Pole. They are in an attic. When I am angry, sometimes I just go into my room and play. I know some of you might think that is silly--but that is what makes little kids feel better. The miners think if they play conquest of the South Pole then that will make them feel better. It does not make them feel better at all--it makes them sadder because they still don't have any jobs and they don't have any money. Somebody doesn't want to play it and then they fight over the game and then they all quit except for two people who still play. Then a woman (played by Jenny Avery) has a baby and the play ends.

Anderson Lawfer played the meanest husband in the world. He did go to the actual South Pole, but he didn't play the game. He was so mean. I don't even know his name because I was so focused on how mean he was. His name was Rudi. Whew. He was rude. He gets into a fight because he treats his wife badly. He was bragging about going to the South Pole, and that makes them angry because they are just pretending. The fight was really very very creepy. I didn't even watch all of it because it was sooo creepy. It looks like Rudi bled very very very very bad. Very bad. It kind of made me a little grossed out because I know Andy in real life.

Rosi was played by Justine C. Turner. Rosi is Rudi's girlfriend. I felt sorry for her. Rosi was very cool. She smoked. Everybody saw her smoking. When she comes to the stage, then she says, "They call me Rosi," then she smokes the cigarette and she says "The Divorcee." If you don't know what divorcee means you can learn it from me--ADA GREY! (and my mom). It means a divorced female person. I just learned it a few seconds ago--but if you read this in the future, like a hundred years later, then it will not be a few seconds ago. It will be a hundred years ago. Justine did a good job being funny. When she said "divorcee" that was hilarious, and I didn't even know what divorcee meant, but I laughed anyway.

Jamie Vann played Slupianek. Slupianek is such a hilarious name. Slupianek makes me think of a funny person. And he was pretty funny. There was a song called, "Why can't a Moose ride a bike. Err Errk. Because he doesn't have the thumb to ring the bell." It was the main song in the whole entire thing. It was really hilarious and they sang it a lot. Slupianek was the person who sent Braukmann to cooking class. It was funny how he presented it. Slupianek was the leader to the South Pole. But he wasn't always the leader because some people had their very own ideas, which he disapproved of. But then he did them anyway. He is in love with Braukmann's Wife. And there is this part where he like lets her back in the chair and puts her forward again and then he says "Scene 6." I think they were starting to fall in love with each other. I have a theory about the last scene of the play. He was waiting in the hospital and decided to go to the South Pole when he was waiting for Braukmann's Wife to have the baby. I think she is going to have the baby, and then the baby is going to want to go the South Pole with his daddy. And he is going to be in a tiny little baby coat, with a tiny little ski mask, and then a little teddy bear with a coat that says "New Baby" on it and a tiny little bear ski mask.

Braukmann's Wife was played by Jenny Avery. There is some shooting in the play that she does. You think she is going to shoot Slupianek, but then she shoots his pigeons instead--which you don't really care about as much as Slupianek. I didn't actually think she did the right decision, because Slupianek was actually in love with her and then she would be like "I'm going back with Braukmann again." Then he might feel sad because he was so looking forward to marrying her because he had no wife. She shouldn't have broke up with Braukmann and just get together with him again because that made Slupianek and Braukmann both very sad. You still like the character though because she has a very simple but hard life.

Tom Hickey played Braukmann. He was really hilarious because he was like "What? I'm going to cooking class?" He always cooked up a meal. Maybe Slupianek wanted him to be like his wife. French fries in Antarctica--in the South Pole? Can you imagine something more hilarious? No. Braukmann was kind of one of the helpers that helped with the things Slupianek couldn't do--like cook. Braukmann was reading a book, and he had a dream: he was giving a speech on a chair at night. And then his wife woke up and told him to go back to bed. She was kind of a little bit tired, I could see.

Michael Dailey played Seiffert. His nickname was Moose and there was a curtain. And Buscher said "What is behind this curtain that wasn't there yesterday?" And they kept saying "curtain that wasn't there yesterday" instead of just "the curtain" because that made it funnier. Moose was behind it, and Moose was about to hang himself because he doesn't have a job. Then he can't get money. They forced him to eat french fries. The dreaded french fries! Moose had no wife or I would have told you about her already. Nobody had a wife except for Braukmann and Slupianek and that was the same wife! Rosi isn't Rudi's wife anymore because he treated her so terribly.

John Ferrick played Bushcher. He wanted to play characters that failed to go to the South Pole because he wanted to be failures because he thought he was a failure because he didn't have a job. But then everybody said we don't want to be failures because we aren't failures. He does not all fit with Slupianek, meaning he is not the same personality. They want much different things. They actually didn't go to the South Pole, so then they wouldn't be lying if they pretended that they had failed to go the South Pole.

Joel Ewing played the dog. There was this funny part where he was in this pose all ready to do the next scene. Everybody else was frozen solid about to smoke a cigar. And then the dog kept tapping them and they wouldn't move, so the dog just went off stage. He was funny and very good at pretending to pull sleds.

If parents do not like kids seeing people drinking and smoking and fighting this would not be a play for them. And if the children do not like seeing people fighting over a girl or breaking up or bras, then they should not see this play. I liked it a lot anyway because it is okay with me to see that kind of stuff. People that like things that are cold, dramatic stuff, babies, and funny stuff like "bottomless--as usual!" would like this play. I recommend that people should go see this play because it is a good play and lots of people would like it. Some parts are fun; some parts are depressing. Having depressing parts makes the play make more sense. If it is happy for the whole time, it is not that much fun to see. There have to be some depressing things to make it a good play. For example, in Orlando he/she is in love with Sasha but then Sasha runs away from him/she. And that is a good play. And Conquest of the South Pole is a good play too.

Photos: Chris Ocken

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wise - and hilarious - and she helped me (I'm a bit older than 6) understand the play better, too! THANKS, Ada - you're one smart cookie! :)