In my opinion, there are 3 kinds of Factory Theater plays.
#1. Soldiers/Heroes face off against a maniacal bad guy.
#2. A bunch of people have dance battles against other people.
My favorite has always been the first. There are a few reasons why, and let me tell them to you.
Factory plays have a great and storied history of making meandering, ridiculous sagas that travel to the ends of the Earth and back again. In the end, we laugh, we fear for our safety, and we bring our own beer. The quality is always high, but you will find yourself with favorites. For instance, Matt Engle has emerged as a first rate director who understands the nuances of comedy. Corri Pasko and Sara Sevigny write crazy popular woman based comedies, but my favorite director is Manny Tamayo. Tamayo understands the cinematic scope of the insane stories and brings a film maker's eye to the Prop Theater.
Namosaur is the story of a group of soldiers and 2 ladies who have to go through the jungle for some reason and there are dinosaurs there and some crazy Korean Baptist preacher named Nguyen Nguyen. This dude has some dinosaur eggs on a necklace and he trapped one of the ladies and told her about them or something and she wrote it down in a notebook. It's not important. What IS important is that there are DINOSAURS in VIETNAM!!
How has no one thought of this yet? It seems like a classic idea.
Well, good on you, Scott Oken. You are a visionary.
Usually in the hero/soldier plays, The Factory needs to bring in some talent that you haven't seen before on that stage (because their ensemble is too famous for themselves anymore), and gives people who you have seen in smaller roles a chance to shine. Case in point in Namosaur; Tim Amos. One of my favorite red-haired, dolphin-tattooed gentlemen has been seen as various unlikeables including pornographers, casino owners and Irish detectives. In Namosaur he finally gets his chance to shine as a leader of a bunch of ingrate soldiers in the middle of the harsh woodlands of Vietnam. Amos' cigar chomping Lieutenant is abrasive and noisy, while still being cuddly and having short hair. Sort of like Meg Ryan.
Tim Amos tells these broads what's what.
The Factory uses the role of "the villain" to showcase some of their incredible comic talent. I have seen Steve Walker in Top Shelf, Dan Granata in League Of Awesome, but never have I ever seen a villain played with the robust testicles as Eric Roach in Namosaur.
Here's the beautiful thing about Eric Roach as a comedian and something the rest of you need to learn: He doesn't even care of you are there or not. He does not need your laughs because his confidence in his performance does not rise and fall with audience approval.
In my opinion that is the greatest thing a comic can do.
This is from a different play, but Roach sort of looks the same!
Roach plays Nguyen Nguyen, a German dinosaur scientist that moves to Vietnam to make dinosaurs, I think. I was laughing too hard to hear what he was saying.
Anyway, what I am trying to say is, if you have never seen a Factory show, this is the one for you to see. If you have, then you know what I'm talking about.
After the show is out, I can finally ask you:
DO YOU LIKE IT!!?
-Anderson Lawfer, Eric Roach