Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Review of Monstrous Regiment at Lifeline Theatre

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Monstrous Regiment. It was directed by Kevin Theis and it was adapted by Chris Hainsworth based on the novel by Terry Pratchett. It was about a girl named Polly (Sarah Price) who dressed up like a boy to be in the army and changed her name to Oliver. She met many different people: a troll named Carborundum (Justine C. Turner), and a vampire named Maladict (Michaela Petro), and two best friends named Tonker (Kim Boler) and Lofty (Mandy Walsh), an Igor named Igor (Katie McLean Hainsworth) and a boy who loved the duchess very much named Wazzer (Melissa Engle), a very cruel corporal named Strappi (John Ferrick) and a very crazy Lieutenant named Blouse (Robert Kauzlaric) and the nicest Sergeant ever named Jackrum (Christopher M. Walsh). Those are the people in the monstrous regiment. It is called the monstrous regiment because there are monsters in it and there are girls in it. The men think it is monstrous that the girls have joined the army. It is about the rights of women and friendship and disguise. I l-o-v-e-d this show so very very much. I really like shows where the women have a very big part in it. And two shows ago at Lifeline there were no women in the show. That was called Killer Angels. I liked that show a lot, but there are a lot of shows where there are a lot of men and not so many women. This show just made me very happy. It just did.

I loved all the monsters. I liked it when Maladict was craving coffee and they put on that special make-up that had splotches and lines around his eyes to make him look very distressed. I loved how he always looked like he was hyperventilating. One of my favorite lines that he said was, "If I don't have coffee, my old craving will come back. And you don't want that to happen. Do you?" I think that Maladict was one of my favorite characters in the play. I think Michaela does a good job playing vampires because she makes vampires not seem like evil jerks. She makes them seem like if they don't get coffee they will get very angry, but otherwise they're sweethearts.

I think Justine C. Turner is great at the role of Carborundum because she just is hilarious. In real life she is not at all like the character, not even the slightest bit. The character is kind of clueless, very very tall, and very very rocky. And Justine is none of those things, but she just makes this character seem so great and amazing that I remember almost every single line she said. Like, "So, we fight for stupidity because of our stupidity because it is our stupidity!" She was very expressive. Whenever someone said something she would react to it as the character. When you look at her face you understand that she is not understanding, and I loved that.

Igor I think is just a great character and I think Katie Hainsworth made this character even more lovable. She had a very good lisp and she was very into her character. She was like Igor from Young Frankenstein only less weird, but also funny. Spoiler alert: I thought it was really funny when Igor dressed up as a goth girl when she needed to be a washerwoman. It didn't look like a washerwoman at all, but she sure did look like a girl!

I liked it when Polly dressed up as a girl (again) because there was an invasion. And troopers came in and started asking her questions like, "Why is your hair so short?" I thought it was really cool when then she started fighting with the Zlobenian captain (Matt Engle) and he was all like, "Oooh. You are a good fighter I see!" He was basically making fun of her. And then she kicked him in the meat and veg. I think that was awesome because that really showed him how a woman could fight and wasn't all like, "Oooo. I'm a beautiful maiden! Climb up my beautiful blond hair and rescue me!" Sometimes there are stories where girls dress as boys because they want to have the rights. I liked how this was a completely new kind of girl story because she didn't just join because she wanted to be a boy or a hero. She fights as a girl. She's proud to be a girl, she's not like, "I wish I wasn't a girl." She doesn't want to change who she is; she doesn't want to change who women are; she just wants to change what they can do.

Lofty and Tonker's relationship was very easy. There was nothing else. They loved each other and they were great friends. I liked how they were very different from each other, but they always stuck together. One of them was very quiet and very "innocent" (put that in quotes as Blouse would say) and the other was very hard core. They are trying to take revenge on people who weren't nice to them. I would like it better if they sent a rude note or stole their money instead of, well, destroying their things. It doesn't make as good a story to send a rude note, so I guess it was a good idea. But if it was real life, I wouldn't have chosen that path

There was this time when they needed to dress up as washerwomen to get into The Keep. Dun dun daaa! Jackrum and Polly were talking to Blouse and then Blouse had "his own" "idea" to dress up as washerwomen which was totally "not" Polly's idea. Then he decides that no one else has any "practice" especially not Polly, so he shall do it as an old woman or a young girl who has a very high voice. Like very screeching. Which is just. wrong. I thought it was fun-larious when Blouse came out and said, "Hello. I'm Daphne." I just wanted to burst out laughing for the next seven hours. But then I would have missed Assassins that night. (Look for my review. It will come out soon!) I thought it was really funny when Jackrum started basically snickering (in kind of a girly-like manner) about Daphne. Which just makes me laugh. Then Polly starts snickering, and basically the snickering just spreads. And soon everyone is snickering. Blouse does not notice. He is too into his "character." I am using all these quotation marks for the happiness of Blouse because he loves quotation marks.

I thought it was really funny but also really scary when Jackrum said, "These are not boys" because you thought that he knew that they were not boys indeed. The audience, everyone froze. And then he said, "These are my lads." And everyone was just going through relief because he hadn't said, "These are girls." I liked Jackrum a lot; he was the nicest sergeant because he was not just like "hup two three four!" He treated every single one of them like family. He is a mean nice guy. He likes to fight, but he doesn't like to fight people that he knows and he loves.

I think that Wazzer is a great character because she is not like any other character in this entire show. Like no one. She basically guides everyone. When she says that the Duchess says something there is no time where it does not help. There is the ghost of the Duchess watching over all them. Wazzer is very very religious and she believes everything and it turns out to be true. But the Nuggan thing is not true. The play doesn't like the idea that religion would tell people what they can't do. Nuggan has all these things that are abominations unto Nuggan, like theatre or girls dressing up as boys or painting anything other than the Duchess. But the play likes Wazzer because she is not that kind of religious. She believes in the Duchess but not as a god, as a friend.

People who would like this show are people who like trolls, women, and coffee. I think people should definitely definitely go see this show because you will have such a great time. It is funny, feminist, and exciting. I think this show should be for ages 7 and up. I loved this show so much; everyone should go and see this.

Photos: Kelsey Jorissen

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