Volume 95, Issue 27

Friday, October 19, 2001
 
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ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

Boo! Creatures found lurking in The Black Lodge

Square Root of who?

Diana Krall's Love needs to be Spiritualized

Gazette Comics

Boo! Creatures found lurking in The Black Lodge

By Christina McKenzie
Gazette Staff


Beware - the dreaded social illness medically referred to as "zombification" is spreading fast.

The cast of Creatures have become consumed by this phenomenon responsible for visible physical transformations, such as hollowed cheeks and sunken eye-sockets.

In this farcical freak show written and directed by the always creative Jayson McDonald, the performances of the diverse and murky cast set the tone for Halloween.

The Galleria Mall's Black Lodge Theatre provides an intimate setting for this "glorious 3D" feature presentation.

Members of the audience are given lens-free 3D glasses to wear throughout the performance in order to enhance the visual experience before them, or more importantly, to foster the play's satiric element.

This horror spoof opens with host Victor Prince, played by Travis Bailie. He sets the scene by explaining the severe thunderstorm that rages outside has washed out the bridge and the audience, as a result, are trapped within the theatre where terror is sure to unfold.

The play is filled with comic elements to aid the overall satire. One such element is a red light, whose flashing indicates upcoming fright. Both visual and sound effects are on cue throughout the play, removing all possibilities of suspense - this being the play's intention.

Resembling the Addams Family, the main characters are Dr. Carlos Jungenhammer and his wife Ivana, played by Rod Keith and Lil Malinich. The evil couple seek to poison their surprise guests so the doctor can carry out his experiments.

Their first guinea pig is the long-haired pizza delivery guy, Jack Horovitz, played by McDonald. Following Horovitz's murder, the doctor alters his victim's appearance in order to make him into a zombie, but manages to maintain the smart-ass humour responsible for many of the audience hysterics.

The visitors to the home all undergo the same process - entrance into the abode, only to be poisoned, killed and then zombified.

Ken Waterford and Jen Wittington - played by Jeff Werkmeister and Danika Barker - fulfill the conventions of farcical horror in their respective identities. Ken is the hero-craving, day-saving football captain and Jen is the flaky cheerleader.

Three officers visit the home, all played by Sam Shoebottom and only vary in appearance with the use of a moustache and eye-patch. Not to mention the "live-ins:" Rory (Niall Cooke), a half-witted, ogre-resembling assistant and Trudy (Sue Mei), a flagrant and cross-eyed co-conspirator.

These hilariously bizarre characters lurk around the stage, set in a living room with the appropriately haunting décor of skulls, macabre paintings and torture tools.

As the thunderstorm continues to rage outside, it motivates the bloodshed inside. Of course, plastic knives, fake blood and severed false limbs are the props used for such scenes.

Audience members are even drawn into the action throughout the show as struggles break out at their feet, while Victor Prince warns they may get wet. Sure enough, the ditzy cheerleader dries off from the rain by flinging her hair around the room, soaking those in the first few rows.

Not only is Creatures well-written and hilarious, the cast and crew provide the audience with effective acting and good technical timing, making this production truly entertaining.

Once the storm subsides and the bridge is back in service, the audience is free to go, but they should beware - the show isn't over.

Four stars (out of five)

Creatures will be playing at the Black Lodge until Oct. 20. Tickets are $12. Contact 673-0431 for more information.


To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department:
gazette.entertainment@uwo.ca

Copyright © The Gazette 2001