Each summer at the Shawnee Theatre the Bloomfield audience looks forward to the Melodrama. Cheers, boos and hisses erupt from the energized audience and that’s not all, lustily tossed plush tomatoes seek their on stage targets. It’s not just theatre, it’s a community event.
Getting into the action, I rented ten of the little soft red missiles. About eight landed more or less close to their on stage targets.
This year’s melodrama is set in outer space. The damsel in distress is the wayward princess Starla, Dana Anderson…Aw. The villain is Dark Vapors, Brittany Coriaci and her hench robot, Travis Holt…Boo, hiss. The hero is long haul space trucker, Buff Dodgers, Nate Curlott with pal Matt Huston…Hooray!
Melodrama opens with the graduation of Starla at Galaxial, Kara De Wall’s School for Wayward Princesses. Then begins the story of Starla’s adventure filled journey to her home planet. She’s opposed by the canny villain, aided by the dense hero and just in general in all kinds of trouble.
Their adventures ranging from comically life threatening situations all the way to dance battles and even pun contests are the product of writer Ian McCabe. His story is ablyl supported by Allison Michael’s scenic designs, Mark Exline’s scenic artistry and Kyle Techentin’s lighting. Generally, I got about one word out of five of th dialog and microphones would have been nice, but that didn’t stop the fun.
Kara DeWall was a treat as the very durable- nearly unkillable- school mistress. Nate Curlott was indeed buff and more than willing to roll around as the hero. Matt Huston was the comic star of the show as his flexible companion. Brittany Coriaci was comically menacing and even drew a bit of sympathy as the villain with Travis Holt as her metallic partner. Dana Anderson was indeed an…Aw…heroine.
The Melodrama wraps up the Shawnee Theatre’s 2015 summer season with performances tonight, Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. (July 23-26)
Executive Director David Salmo has told us that next summer Shawnee will open the musical Meet Me in Saint Louis and include The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and he’s hinting that this year Shawnee may have a Christmas show.
At the theatre for you, I’m George Walker