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Wizzer Pizzer

a Comedy
CATEGORY : COMEDY
by Amy Wheeler

COMPANY : 7 Stages [WEBSITE]
VENUE : 7 Stages [WEBSITE]
ID# 1249

SHOWING : May 05, 2005 - May 29, 2005

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

Cross over the rainbow inton Dr. Nora's Reparative Therapy Clinic. Here, gays learn how to be "born again" straight.

Kevin, a drag queen performing Judy Garland, has just checked in, depressed after losing his latest amateur drag contest. So has Jack, a straight guy who bears a striking resemblance to Kevin's friend Kandi, a drag king. But when Jack finds love there with the poster girl for "cured lesbians," all Oz breaks loose. WIZZER PIZZER is a wild, outrageous, trippy, modern ride back out the Yellow Brick Road. Hey, if the ruby slippers fit...

"Delicious, daring...Move over, ANGELS IN AMERICA!" -- The Oregonian, on Amy Wheeler's KISS IT!


CAST & CREW LIST
Cast Amy Wheeler
Cast Melissa Foulger
Backstage Assistant / "Zoro" Set Mover Alex Riviere
Cast Charlie Burnett
Cast Brian Crawford
Cast Mary Claire Dunn
Cast Alison Hastings
Cast Topher Payne
Cast Scott Turner Schofield
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

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So "Over" The Rainbow
by Dedalus
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
3.0
Well, it’s been three weeks since I’ve seen Amy Wheeler’s “Wizzer Pizzer” at 7 Stages, and, not only have I put off writing about the play, I’ve scarcely even thought about it. Perhaps that’s a problem that calls for some focus.

I started keeping a journal about five years ago, writing about plays I see. I used the journal as a means to clarify theatrical ideas and trends – identifying what works or doesn’t work for me would hopefully help me in my pursuits as actor / director / technician. It was also a means to practice my writing skills – I could play with style and language while focusing on a limited number of aspects about a particular show.

Then, all of sudden, I discovered this site, and now could share my thoughts with my peers, hopefully to start discussions and arguments. I decided early on that I would sign my logs and be accountable for what I put out there. From the beginning, my intention was not to “review” or “criticize,” but to simply (and hopefully entertainingly) say what works and doesn’t work about a particular production.

All this is just a roundabout way of getting into “Wizzer Pizzer.” My initial reaction was positive. I thought the script would occasionally veer off the rails, but would come back by a combination of self-deprecating humor and heartfelt emotion, particularly Topher Payne’s climatic “I am not a biological mistake” outburst. I thought the playwright had some points I wanted to see made, but made them by “stacking the deck” – that is, making the Video Doctor and the “Christian Leaders” campy stereotypes. The fact that they were products of Kevin’s imagination is no excuse. This only makes him seem shallow and stereotypical. In all other respects (and helped by Mr. Payne’s performance), this character did not seem to be conceived as someone who would take this “easy way out.”

This is also the third play in which I’ve seen Sabina Maja Angel’s Video designs. Here, as in the previous plays, I felt they were more of a distraction than an asset. Especially ill-conceived was the first “Dr. Nora” segment – it was projected onto an area of the set that was recessed just where her head appeared, giving me the impression that Dr. Nora was a talking hole in the wall. I suspect this was the effect only in my area of the audience, but it does point out the disconnect between video and live theatre – videographers rarely account for sight-line issues, nor, to be fair, should they. More often than not, video segments come across more as feeble (and trendy) razzle-dazzle attempts, rather than integral parts of the show. This show was no exception.

So, since this review is rather unfocused, let’s just mercifully cut it short – I liked the ideas and conceptions behind “Wizzer Pizzer.” I loved the performances. I was irritated by some of the playwright’s and director’s choices in execution. And I haven’t thought about the play more than a minute or two since I’ve seen it.

This should have been the focus of this column – one-dimensional villains are rarely memorable. Even when they’re figments of the protagonist’s dreams, they need to have weight. If these characters had as much weight as Kevin’s final outburst hints they could have, this play would have been truly memorable.

Or, maybe, I’m just a cynical old curmudgeon who has grown so “over” the rainbow.

-- Brad Rudy (BKRudy@aol.com)

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