Monday, December 15, 2014

Review of Crumble (Lay Me Down, Justin Timberlake) at Jackalope Theatre Company

Once upon a time I went to show and it was called Crumble (Lay Me Down, Justin Timberlake). It was written by Sheila Callaghan and it was directed by AJ Ware. It was about a mother (Charlesanne Rabensburg) whose daughter, Janice (Kristen Magee) was a going a little bit insane because her father (Curtis Jackson) has died. Their apartment (Tim Parker) talked and their aunt (Rachel Slavick) was a cat lady. And Janice loves Justin Timberlake (Jackson). I think this was a very touching but funny show. And I had a lot of fun, but it was also scary for me because their family was basically falling apart bit by bit and I don't want that to happen to us. And that is why we use a stool on the side farthest away from the window when we put the star on top of the Christmas tree!

The apartment is the first thing you see. And I know you are thinking, "Of course it is. It is the set." But no, you are not right; it is not the set. There is a person who plays the apartment. Then he is always talking to the audience because he is basically the narrator. He sees everything that happen; he feels when someone walks across the floor or if there are rats; and he hears if someone is sad or crying or having a fantasy. And if there is someone making an evil mastermind plan, he knows it all. I think that is a great kind of narrator to have that feels, sees, and hears everything. I liked how he did all this apartmently-like stuff. He would lay on the floor or when he was a wall he would stand against the wall and when he is a radiator he crouches up against the wall and makes banging noises until the mother fixes him. The personality was he was very depressed and sad but he still had good memories of what used to happen here. He seemed very mean and just wanted to do what was right for him, which meant killing off as many people in the family as possible.

The daughter was pretty crazy because she had a bunch of ideas that would not usually go on in an 11-year-old's brain. All the Justin Timberlake fantasies could go on in an 11-year-old's brain, but not all the evil mastermind stuff. Usually tweens are not that scared that they want to blow up their mother and their selves. I don't want to blow up my mother and myself, but I think this is a a great character to have because it shows the normal parts of a tween's brain and a slightly supernatural part of a tween's brain that probably doesn't happen all that often. It has some of the realistic and less realistic aspects to make it reliable but also being able to have fun with all the different ideas about what is going on with her. Is she being hypnotized by the house? Is she an evil mastermind? Another possibility is that this all could be a silly fantasy of hers. She wants to destroy things because she feels there is nothing else to do. Her dad is dead. Her mother is depressed all the time and she is getting bad grades which makes her mother more depressed and her apartment is talking to her. And she thinks, "What could be worse?" so she just wants to end it all. Trying to figure it out brought some of the excitement to the show, and I really liked that.

The mother wanted to be the perfect mother but she felt like she couldn't because her husband had died. She tries to make her daughter happy by letting her have a lot of freedom. But when she has that freedom she doesn't know what to do because she becomes odd and lonely and gives her mom a weird christmas list. And the only thing that makes sense is a Justin Timberlake album. The mom is overwhelmed by everything that her daughter does because she thinks, "Well that must be wrong." And even if it is just regular 11-year-old girl stuff, like thinking about boys, she either freaks out or wants to pretend it and the weird stuff is regular, but she doesn't know how and lies to herself.

The daughter and mother both had their dream-boy fantasies. The daughter's was Justin Timberlake and the mother's was Harrison Ford. The one I can understand is the Harrison Ford one; he's a cutie. Curtis Jackson played both parts and the father, which I think showed us a kind of connection. That connection was that they all made the family happy, and the other people kind of made up for the father and reminded them of him and made them feel better. I found those scenes very funny. In the Justin Timberlake scene he started flying! And you could just see his feet flapping in the distance. And I thought that was just weird and funny and ridiculous and I loved it. And also when Harrison Ford was talking to the mom, he started levitating under a sheet. And I thought that was very weird and silly, and I was just like, "What is going on over there!?" And then she lifts off the sheet and there is no one there. And I was just in awe. I was like, that was some pretty awesome magic. I thought that Curtis Jackson did a great job turning from a teen celebrity to the man who plays Indiana Jones!

The aunt was a cat lady. She had 57 cats. I love cats, and I wouldn't be super-duper sad if I had 57 cats, but I would be very overwhelmed. It is not normal to have 57 cats, but I think she seems happy with the 57 cats because she loves her cats. She gets them Christmas presents, and she talks to them like they are her children because it seems like she wanted to have children but she couldn't. So then she got cats. I thought she was a great character to have because she didn't seem too sad-sacky like you think someone would be in this situation.

People who would like this show are people who like cats, talking houses, and levitating sheets with supposedly Harrison Ford inside them. There is just one more week, so get your tickets, quick! It was amazing!

Photos: Phil Dembinski

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