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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Neverwhere - Lifeline Theatre (theatre review)

Hainsworth and Kauzlaric enter a Neverhole

This past Saturday, I left the beautiful sunny world of Chicago Illinois and ventured into a sick, twisted dimension of beasts, weirdos, funny accents, dry ice, and stage combat at the storied Lifeline Theatre.  That's right, I saw their already number one hit Neverwhere!

So, this show is one of those shows that makes use of Magical Realism or Urban Fantasy...that is, it's the author's intent to make a show that is like a Dungeons & Dragons game, but he didn't want to use gay unicorns or bags of holding.  Seriously, if I would have known this show had griffins or minotaurs in it or something I would have Never gone There.  Yep.

The show is based on funny books by Neil Gaiman, who is like a much nicer and better smelling Alan Moore.  It was adapted once already for the BBC, and I didn't see it but I bet it had fucking Daleks in it or weird acronyms that normal people never use.  Rob Kauzlaric adapted the show, and also starred as the protagonist Richard Mayhew.  Rob is really pretty and makes you want to join him on this epic journey into a sewer.  Paul S. Holmquist directed it, and his nimble fingers make deft use of having no money to actually make awesome monsters.  Sometimes, I appreciate having to use my imagination, and Holmquist gets inside your brain and does a sexy number on your pleasure centers.

The set is the traditional Lifeline showoff set, by showoff king Alan Donohue.  I don't know how he does it, or how drunk he gets at afterparties...but it's pretty drunk, guys, really.  Also, Alan's porno name is Mr. Brute Force.

So, this Richard Mayhew is a Scotsman in London with a boring ass job and a boring fiance (the chameleon-like Elise Kauzlaric) who wants him to be the Brit equivalent of a Lincoln Park Chad...which in London is a Nigel, I'm told.  They're running along, being all United Kingdomy and run across this poor woman named Door (a subtly radiant Katie McLean) who is a denizen of London Below - sewers - and is in a lot of trouble.  She talks to some rat puppets and Richard helps her out and enlists the help of the Marquis (Chris Hainsworth, channeling a young Treat Williams) so she can get back to the underground.

Then all hell breaks loose and Richard's life has disappeared in London Above.  WTF, y'all????  So, he goes on a pretty standard Joseph Campbell style hero's quest into London Below to try and get his life back.

Did this guy just lose his marbles?  All of a sudden, he's involved with a woman who can make doors appear anywhere, two apparently ancient hitmen cutthroats (Christopher Walsh and Sean Sinitski make the most of these scumbags, evoking all the fine British comedy teams like Benny Hill and naked chicks, or Graham Chapman and bags of coke), a black huntress who MIGHT just be playing both sides against the middle (Kyra Morris brings down the house, Angela Bassett watch out!), and a fallen Angel who has a +7 Key of Opening (Phil Timberlake creeping it up).

I don't mean to be a negative nelly, but I had no idea what was going on for a while.  But then, I realized that doesn't matter.  With a crazy quest show like this, it's about the journey not the destination...and what an ambitious and whack-job journey it is!

If you are a fan of shows that explore what it means to make important decisions about life and really bitchin' lighting effects then go check out Neverwhere at the Lifeline!  Also, their staff is so sweet and nice...they even put blankets out if people are too cold in the air conditioning, which is really super since the place used to be a meat packing plant.

B, but A- if you know what your THAC0 is.

-Eric Roach, Anderson Lawfer

1 comment:

  1. Treat Williams from Hair or Treat Williams from 1941?

    ReplyDelete