Saturday, March 9, 2013

Review of Improbable Frequency at Strawdog Theatre Company

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Improbable Frequency and it was directed by Kyle Hamman.  Arthur Riordan and Bell Helicopter wrote the musical.  It was about this guy Mr. Faraday (Michael Dailey) from Britain who decided to do this crossword puzzle and then he was asked to come into a general's office to go and be a codebreaker in the war.  He falls in love with this girl Philomena (Sarah Goeden) who is Irish but the Irish had been taken over by England many many years ago and they are angry about it. Even though they are mostly free there are these parts of Ireland they still can't claim.  So then they don't say at all what side they are on in World War II.  They might be on England and America's side or they could also be on Nazi Germany's side.  This show I think is a fun show because it has a lot of historical text that I didn't know about before and also because it is about spies and I am very interested in spies.  The songs and music are things that also make this show awesome.

There was this song that was called "Don't Patronize the Irish" and in this song there were a bunch of co-workers and they all were talking about how you shouldn't patronize the Irish.  But the funny thing about it is that Betjeman (Jason Grimm), the same person was another coworker, so he just changed his costume on stage: just put on the bowler hat and a coat, and of course he had to get his teddy bear.  As they say, "Don't patronize the Irish," they are patronizing the Irish by saying that they drink too much and dancing a jig, which makes it kind of crazy and silly.  But then when you think about it, you think, "Wait a second, this song makes more sense because they could mean, 'Don't patronize the Irish in front of the Irish.'"

The thing that I thought was funny about Scott Danielson when he was playing a co-worker is that he kept yelling out stuff because the headphones were so good that he couldn't hear himself talk.  So he thought nobody else could!  Then he kept yelling out rhymes about what they were talking about, and then if they changed the subject he would start yelling about that.

There was this one scene where Mr. Faraday came over to Philomena's house and was asking her, "was she the secret agent?"  I thought that scene was interesting because people played furniture.  One person played a chair (Jason Grimm) where sat down on just chair legs that had a board on them and put his arms out like arm rests.  A woman played a lamp (Christina Hall) and wore a lampshade on her head.  Then she would just stand there until Mr. Faraday said "Philomena" and then all the furniture would move.  Like one time the lamp moved all the way across the room.   And also the cupboard (Scott Danielson) opened and closed its doors whenever they said "Philomena."   It was funny because of course furniture don't move.

There was this really really awesome song that was also really really really creepy.  It was sung by Agent Green (Christina Hall) and she sang about betrayal.  Not the play Betrayal, the actual thing that actually hurts people and makes them feel depressed. But she is not depressed; she wasn't the one being betrayed; she is betraying all the guys that people thought she liked.  She is also betraying her country.  It was so catchy, but I am not on her side at all!  I thought her singing was amazing!  I think she should have her own band!  I liked the character at first, but then I hated her.  Not like her acting turned bad, but the character turned awful.

There was a funny element of the show which was where the musicians (Hilary Holbrook, Kristina Lee, Mike Przygoda, and Curtis Williams) interacted with the people in the show.  Like one time Betjeman came over to the musicians and said, "Sorry, got to run" and the girls went "Aw!" because they kind of didn't want him to leave because I think the girls had a crush on Betjeman. It is cool to have the band members in the show because they can make the show more funny because people don't expect that the band members won't just be band members and have nothing to do with the play.  It is kind of a surprise and then it gets you even more interested in what is going on in the show.

So there is this song about Pat, and Pat is like the mystery of the play: Who is Pat?  I'm not going to tell you because that is the main question of the story, like I just told you.  It is not only a song, but it also has a mad scientist laughing.  Schrodinger (Eric Paskey) is also known as the crazy mad scientist. Earlier in the show he sang a song about how in the day he loved science but in the night he hated science and only wanted to go out with the ladies.  And that has to do with the scene because here he starts saying that he likes Agent Green. Philomena was waiting for Mr. Faraday and she was part of the song too. And while they were singing she was part of the song by going "lalalalalalalalala." I liked this because it felt like she was also in the room and she kind of knew what was happening.  I liked how all the lights turned on and it seemed so colorful but also so terrifying.  This was also the scene with my favorite creepy song "Betrayal," which I talked about earlier, which made the whole scene even cooler.

People who would like this show are people who like hilarity, awesome songs, and patronizing the Irish. This is a show I think is good for only some kids; you will have to warn them about some content, like romance that kids shouldn't know about yet, and you will also have to warn them about some swear words.  I think this is perfect for adults and teenagers; I don't they would have any problems.  People should go see this show because it is basically a combination of all different kinds of plays like drama, romance, comedy, mystery, and musicals.  This show is fantastic!

Photos: Chris Ocken

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