Monday, January 6, 2014

Review of WildClaw Theatre's The Shadow Over Innsmouth

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called The Shadow Over Innsmouth. It was adapted by Scott T. Barsotti from H.P. Lovecraft's story and directed by Shade Murray. It was about this girl named Regina (Brittany Burch) who was writing her thesis in anthropology, but when she got to the place where she was going to research her thesis, it was creepy. It is also about the people in Innsmouth and how they are different and scary and how she is learning about her heritage. She was going there to stay with her cousin Walter (Adam Shalzi) and he was not there, so she needs to find him. It is also about how the town was in very bad shape and everybody was sick. They are turning themselves into things they don't want to be, like in the witch trials in Salem the people who were accused were becoming witches in everybody's mind. This show is funny but also very scary. I really liked it and I think a lot of people would really like it.

A woman named Winifred Gilman (Christy Arington) loved crunching medicine. This girl also secretly had a stash of alcohol. At this one time in the play Regina had to give her medicine to crunch on to get some alcohol to give to this man she was trying to talk to. I thought it was funny how Regina tried to crunch on some medicine and her face went like "Eww! That was disgusting." I thought that Winifred was scary because she basically had a lot of scars, but the medicine made her even creepier. The librarian who told Regina about Innsmouth (Arington) is super different from Winifred because one of them was really nice and the other was really scary and mean. I think that Christy did a good job with changing her personality from being a nice librarian to a woman who is very ill-tempered.

Regina goes and meets Professor Trask (Steve Herson) in Arkham. He was one of the only not-scary people in the show. It is good to have a not-scary character in the show because that gives you hope and if that hope is lost, it makes more impact. This scene made you know that he was a good guy and that they were friends. When he started comforting her and telling her about Innsmouth you knew that he was trying to help her and you hoped that he wouldn't turn into an evil bad guy.

There was a brother and a sister, Barnabus Marsh (Bob Kruse) and Millicent Marsh (Mary Jo Bolduc) who owned the gold refinery. They were a little a bit crazy because they talked a lot and they were fighting about what they wanted to show Regina. And then they would just smile back at her in a weird and creepy way. They talked like monsters to each other but they weren't like metaphoric monsters, like "You've always been ugly, you know." They were talking in monster language and it sounded like vomiting and croaking. They were also funny because of how they talked so much and she said, "I have a collection of women's fashions" in a snotty way. That was basically one of her favorites words: "women's fashions." I loved how the sister and brother smiled back at Regina after they croaked and croaked and croaked.

There was a guy named Joe Sargent (Jude Roche) and he drove the bus and the thing was that he had a giant scar on the side of his face and he tried to talk in human language and there was blood coming out of his mouth but he didn't always succeed in actually talking. You felt like he was not a really bad guy. He seemed like he could actually be nice if he wasn't basically a monster and having so many problems.

I liked the part where Regina fell asleep when she was on the bus. And then the lights went down and then the lights went up and there was a woman sitting there. And then the lights went down again and there were more people and more people. And then at the end all the people were looking straight at her with curiosity. It was really funny because everybody was just like, "Hmmm. What's going on?" The lights show that a lot of time was passing but they make it funny too because you just didn't know what was going to be next, and when everybody was leaned in it was just super funny.

Zadok Allen (Brian Amidei) was talking to Regina about her heritage and about the things that I cannot talk to you about until you've seen the play. It was very interesting. I thought that Brian did a great job of actually seeming like a really mental alcoholic. I liked how he was really involved with the story. When he came to an exciting, a sad, or a weird part he would just have a giant chug of alcohol. Usually you shouldn't believe alcoholic people, but this one you should listen to.

Regina gets to the hotel and Winifred Gilman who runs it is not exactly the most friendly type. And then Regina asks for something packaged because she doesn't want to get all the germs from them. And even though she was just eating crackers this was a very interesting scene. And then Teddy (David Seeber) goes to get her a glass of water and he comes back with something yellow with green dots in it. And it was sooo gross, even thinking about now makes me feel uneasy. But it is also sort of funny at the same time. I think that Teddy was just like everyone else, only he was shyer. He was staring at Regina like, "Did I make her happy?" And when she goes up to her room something very scary happens, but my mouth is zipped!

I thought that the costumes by Aly Renee Amidei were really cool and great. I would like to wear Regina's. I really liked the skirt; I thought it was very pretty. I think Aly made her costume prettier because then it made her stand out more from all of the people in Innsmouth. I think the makeup really stood out and seemed very, well, real. It made those people look less friendly and it made you feel scared. I thought that the set by John Ross Wilson was really great because of how it could move in so many different ways and look like things it didn't look like a minute ago. It looked like ruins; it made you feel like you were actually in Innsmouth.

People who would like this show are people who like creepy bus drivers, nice professors, and women's fashions. People should go see this show because suspenseful, funny, and scary. I think some nine year olds would be fine with this. I was. It is scary but not horrifying; it was a scary as Doctor Who, so if your kids watch Doctor Who and don't think it is too scary, they can watch this.

Photos: Kyle Hamman

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