Monday, January 23, 2012

Review: When Snakes Soar

Why do we do theater? It’s a very loaded question that nearly every theater artist asks themselves, at least once in their life. Or maybe once a day, depending on how crazy this field makes you. But that was the question posed in Flying Snakes in 3-D! Now you must be asking yourself, how does that question correlate to that wild title? Simple. Everywhere Theatre Group, in a meta sense, decides to create a work of theater to help figure out why they do theater, the dying art form in the rapidly rising world of film and TV. So they attempt to create this wild play that is better suited for the other media: Flying Snakes…in 3-D.
Flying Snakes in 3-D is part experimental theater with a dash of plot in parody form. The actors play an assortment of stock action movie characters set to a brilliant video backdrop, created by Chase Voorhees. The top notch video design at times was so well done, you almost wanted to watch that instead of the actors. The writing is over-the-top, which allows for some fun over-the-top acting. Lindsay Mack, the only member of ETG brave enough to step on stage, plays Inis Goodheart, the scientist who unleashes the killer Flying Snakes on America, is wonderful to watch on stage. She owns her moments and shines in the comedy. Unfortunately, she is occasionally brought down by her scene partner Cory Hibbs as Frank Scheckles, another doctor who accidently unleashed the snakes. Some of the best moments came from the secondary characters, which seems to be the theme in most action movies. The ragtag group of Americans who set out to stop the Flying Snakes, also known as the F.U.C.K.E.R.S., are wild and crazy and strive in their moment in the spotlight. Their introductions, again with a great video background, are highlights. T. Ray Campbell plays a cowboy who knows no mercy. Eevin Hartsough plays a pregnant psychic with a psychic unborn child. But it’s Kim Gainer’s Governor Rosa Gomez and Chris Tyler’s outrageous basketball (and Shaq) loving Jayleen Shebazz that steal the show. I will say, I was wishing for a “Kazaam” reference.
All of these parody moments were entertaining and wonderful to watch. The subtle references to why doing theater is hard was refreshing because it was subtle. But the second the subtlety moved into the spotlight, the cohesion seemed to die and we were being told what to think. Bashing an audience over the head with an answer is never a good idea. But maybe that’s the point? Maybe we needed that bash.
Flying Snakes in 3-D is an ambitious and entertaining night of theater. Expect to laugh and have fun.