Saturday, March 23, 2013

The LC Theatre Review: EMU's Ten Minute Play Festival "Snake, Rattle, and Roll"

The theatre scene isn't exactly thriving in LFK right now (Chip: "What? You must not have seen The Fox on the Fairway at Theatre Lawrence!").  Luckily, the ever-revolving cast of scrappy writers, directors, and thespians from EMU Theatre have, against all odds, been around since 1998, occasionally offering up treats like their 10-Minute Play Festival, which continues tonight and next weekend.  This year's title: "Snake, Rattle, and Roll." 

The crowd was decent for Friday's opening night despite some overlap with the first half of the KU/Western Kentucky game which, by all accounts, wasn't worth watching anyway.  Not true of Act I of the 10-Minute Play Festival, which is front-loaded with worthy stuff such as David Butterfield's scary-good performance as a dying man in "The Things We Leave Behind" (the evening's heaviest drama, which interprets its 10-minute runtime rather loosely) and the annoyingly titled but very funny "Kuppulls Thairoppee" (we liked everything but its "meta" ending).  Act II seems tailor-made for LFK's heavy drinkers (there's plenty of PBR on hand at these shows, don't worry) who enjoy their theatre on the lighter side: it contains a wacky home-invasion farce, a very dark Dark Knight riff (which could have been potent but seems mainly interested in dirty jokes and punchlines), and a bizarre history of Henry the VIII with a couple of dance numbers.  Sandwiched in the midst of this frivolity is a quiet little gem from Andy Stowers called "God's Work," which deals with storytelling and (unlike several other of the evening's plays) uses its "twists" for character development as opposed to mere plot devices. 

Verdict:  we fully enjoyed at least six of the nine plays.  It's fascinating to see what can be accomplished in ten minutes (more than you think, in numerous instances).  Add a little PBR and some between-play improv from EMU-Prov, and you've got yourself a reasonably-priced ($7) evening of entertainment that will still get you out on the town in time for at least four more hours of drinking at the Replay or Frank's.

Visit the FB event page here for info on each of the evening's nine plays.

Snake, Rattle and Role - EMU Theatre's Ten-Minute Play Festival

Coming soon:  the LC's Film Corner examines Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers.

Chip:  "There are so many titties, I ultimately had to forgive its unrelenting artsiness."


Darren H. said...

I saw the show last night as well. I agree with the loose definition of 10 minutes in Things We Leave Behind as I found myself shifting in my seat a bit as it went on. The performance of Mr Butterfield was intense though. My favorite play/performance (dramatically) came from Visitation personally. I thought the girl in the lead was awesome. Humor wise, Silent Alarm had me rolling at points while pieces of the Batman one were humorous although I agree with your overall assessment. All in all a good nights entertainment for the price and more fun to watch than the KU game

Very Far Off Broadway said...

Thanks for reading the review. I liked "Visitation" as well. In general, I thought the more serious ones played just as well as the comedies, though I understand the tendency to go mostly comic in that short format. I'd probably do the same if I submitted one (and maybe I will next time around).