Monday, October 1, 2012

Review of Males Order Brides at Quest Theatre Ensemble

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Males Order Brides. It's called Males Order Brides because it is about men ordering brides so they can get married. They are doing it because they have certain dreams about what their brides should be like. They want them to be pretty in a certain kind of way, and good kind of conversationalists, and very proper, and lounge dancers. They learn that those kind of dreams are right under their noses. They have this lady named Star Billings (Kieran Welsh-Phillips) that is helping Big Harry Deal (Jason Bowen) to blow all the men and the heroine Calico Shurtz (Jacqueline Salamack) into little pieces. This show is a melodrama; that means that the villain tells you everything and they have like beautiful heroines and men that work in a gold mine. And they come right out and say what they want. This means you just have to sit back and relax and enjoy the show, and you don't have to figure anything out at all. I like figuring things out more than just seeing things happen and having the characters tell you everything that is happening. Some people don't like processing things as much as other people and some people just like a break from processing things and processing things and processing things. This play is good for a break if you like processing things but you really want a two-hour break.

I thought the can-can dancer costumes (by Jana Anderson) were pretty cool because they looked like they were from cowboy times. And the one of the brides that was very proper with the hat and the spectacles (which was actually Star Billings) had a silk-looking dress that looked like somebody that was coming from Britain. The bride with the blonde curly hair I thought looked like one of the girls from Little House on the Prairie and I also thought that the scientist/lounge singer costume looked very sparkly and looked liked a famous singer from New York--because that's what that bride was.

I think it was kind of a bad message to send to say that you should change yourself to make somebody like you like Calico Shurtz does. She goes with her friends and puts on a dress and a fancy hat because she has been a tomboy for the whole play. A better message would have been to say, "Just make him like you as a person as who you are." She does the exact opposite of that which is making him like her a different way than she was before.

The actors wanted to make the audience laugh, but sometimes they kind of didn't know how to, but at most points they made the audience laugh. When they don't get as many people laughing, they would make up a joke that wasn't in the script. Sometimes they were the funniest parts: like when Big Harry Deal said, "I'll go and check on her in the girls' bathroom" and when he leaves C.D. Nichols (Bruce Phillips) said "Don't go into the girls' bathroom!" He said it in a voice kind of like "I am kind of scared that he is going to go into the girls' bathroom" and I thought that that was one of the funniest parts in this scene.

When the audience would throw popcorn at the villains, sometimes it got stuck in their hats, sometimes it got stuck in their dresses, and sometimes it got stuck in their shoes. Sometimes it also got stuck in my hair. I did not like it very much to have popcorn stuck in my hair, but it was an experience--the first time I ever got pelted with popcorn. One of the jokes that I really liked was when Big Harry Deal was talking with Star Billings while she was being pelted with popcorn and she was eating it. And then Big Harry Deal said, "Don't eat so much. You'll fill up and you won't be hungry for your dinner." And I thought it was funny because you cannot possibly be filled up on three pieces of popcorn. And then another time when he was was serving them the dinner and he dropped one of the plates, and then he picked it up, and nothing had fallen off. So he shook it up and down, but nothing came off because it was a prop. And he just served it to them like, "Ohhh-kay. I'm giving them fake foo-ood I guess. Ohhh-kay.

People who would like this show are people who like melodramas, the old wild west, and people getting pelted with popcorn. Some kids I think will like this show because it is easy to understand what is going on and there is lots of popcorn throwing and they can throw popcorn--which is something they have always wanted to do and this will be like the only chance in their life they will get to do it. The grown-ups in the audience were acting kind of like kids because they were having so much fun watching the show, and the oldest people there even threw popcorn. And some of the oldest people maybe came to see it because it was like a child memory of going to see melodramas.

Photos: Braxton Black

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