Netflix is the named villain behind most of these short plays that take place in and around Video Palace, a withering neighborhood video rental shop. Each of the five one-acts presented are teased by movie clips. Just like Friday, REWIND: Saturday Edition the audience whets their appetite on scenes from films like Dirty Dancing and White Nights. (Thirty points to anyone who can name the clip which featured the talking tumbleweed.)
“ I Wouldn’t Mind Seeing This Again” is a colorful collage of monologues that examines the reason why we love the movies that we love. This collaboration between writer Adam Hahn and director Greg Machlin exercise judicious measures of nostalgia and playfulness. The cast of four are immediately engaging.
The tone was all over the place for “ Death & Popcorn.” However, this play seemed to be designed as fare for the camp contingent in the audience. This piece depicts an actually morning in the life of a video clerk, uninterrupted. Humorous and strange stuff.
Julianne Homokay’s short one act “ Relics ” introduces us to Bel ( Selby James) on the eve of her becoming homeless. With her video store having gone under, she finds an unexpected friend and confidante in Cloris ( Mary Burkin), the homeless woman camped out behind her store. “Relics” is a severe shift in tone, deeply somber and serious in content. It is an abrupt but pleasing surprise in an evening of comedy. Tent-poled between “ Death & Popcorn” and “ Rapture & Lamaze,” Homokey’s play fits well into the showcase, adding a wonderful slice of variety that offers solid scene work by both actresses.
“ Rapture & Lamaze” is another one-act whose title probably speaks for itself. However, the title cannot convey the delicious chaos that erupts from the volatile combination of one late Lamaze tape, one pissed off Lamaze partner ( Kim Jiang), one lazy boyfriend ( Trey Thompson), two pregnant women ( Lindsey Mixon & Jamie Punkett), one Christian Evangelist ( Jeremiah Munsey), one obstinate video clerk ( Jason Sims-Prewitt), and yes ladies and gentlemen, theeRapture. Double threat Julianne Homokay directs the short play written by fellow writer/directorJeff Goode. A comedy piece this broad and physical could not have been executed well without a cast of singular focus. This cast of six was on fire! Ridiculous and so much fun. Well Done.
“ Wandering Willows” closes the evening on a musical note. With the book and music byJonathan Price and lyrics by Chana Wise, this final one-act speaks to all who are easily seduced and transported by sweeping movie musical. Billy ( Ben Ryan) wants nothing more than to get lost in the perfect world of melodies, but he simultaneously wants that world all to himself. Or does he?Allison Bibicoff directs and choreographs the piece with an even hand, and a steadfast eye on the acting. Again, great ensemble chemistry. Equal parts silly and sweet, “ Wandering Willows” is the last of several great treats in this evening of one-acts.
REWIND – Saturday Edition is a solid night of theatre. This evening of late night entertainment scores in all genres: comedy, drama and musical theatre. If you are a die-hard who consumes great entertainment at all hours of the day and night, REWIND is a very good show.
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