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It's All in the Timing

a Comedy
CATEGORY : COMEDY
by Kip Henderson

COMPANY : Pumphouse Players [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Legion Theatre
ID# 4266

SHOWING : March 30, 2012 - March 31, 2012

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

a romantic comedy with farce sprinkled in.
Roommates Pete and Laura are tricked by friends and family into exposing their true feelings for each other. This despite the private war they've waged since they were kids.
Woven with humorous subplots, the show covers a year in the life of our characters and includes an evil succubus, rumored pregnancy, and at least one pie fight.


CAST & CREW LIST
Writer/Composer Kip Henderson
Video production Shane Phebus
Director Kip Henderson
Jeffrey Andrew Bearden
Light design/tech Jen Garrett
Heather Galloway Erin Glynn
Sound design Kip Henderson
Pete Downing Kip Henderson
Jana Parker Aliya Hutcheson
Sound design/tech Barry KING
Designer/poster Barry KING
Steve Thomas Marcus Kirlew
Asst. director Lori Lambert
Laura Thomas Emily McFadden
Doug Downing Dennis Wolk
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

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Not worth the price of admission
by ATL_Theatre_Critique
Sunday, April 1, 2012
1.0
Having been told of the original work going on at the Legion Theatre with the Pumphouse Players (and always liking to support new work when possible), I ventured there to enjoy a night of light-hearted, witty comedy. However, what I received was far less than expected. The play, written by Kip Henderson, is an attempt at throwing witty (oftentimes obscure) jokes, farce, and slapstick into a rather funny situation. The two title characters, Pete, a 32 year old film special effects artist from Kennesaw, GA, played by Kip himself who has to be in his mid to late 40s and cannot play 32, and Laura, an unspecified age that has to be lower than 32 because her brother is 32, played by Emily McFadden were the absolute stereotypical "I hate you so much I must love you" roommate, set up by friends and family to "discover their love."

On the surface, enemies being tricked into being lovers is an old standard of theatre making, and can be, if written well, funny. However, the writing was not particularly good, and therefore the bait and switch was not as effective because many audience members, like myself, were already grumbling just wanting it to be over.

The beginning credits were superflous, long, and nearly impossible to read. They also explained that Kip Henderson wrote it, directed it, was in it, and did about five or ten other things with the production as well so his name kept flashing up over and over and over.

The play began with Laura complaining to best friend Jana about how frustrated she was with Pete's pranks. Jana make some comment about at least he was cute, hott, something to that effect. She continues to call him good looking throughout the first act. However, in reality, Kip Henderson is an overweight, pot-bellied, middle-aged man who I would in no way put in the "attractive" category. And every time she said it after I saw him enter it threw me for a loop, making me wonder if it wasn't pandering on the writer/director's part to get the cute, voluptuous little redhead to say he was attractive over and over.

Jana, played by Aliya Hutcheson, was the stereotypical bimbo, dumb-blonde (except with red hair). She was the foil to all of Laura's scheming, and while rarely on stage in the first act, was actually rather refreshing to get away from the overdone, exaggerated styles of Kip.

Laura's brother, Steve, played by Marcus Kirlew, was also rather refreshing. He seemed to really fill out his part well. The only minor irk I had was that he was played by an African American male while Laura and her mother were played by white females, and there is a line where he says something to the effect of "maybe i'm adopted" because he believes they are acting so strangely. For this production I think I would have either cut or changed the line because, though I am all for colorblind casting and feel no one could have played the part better, he clearly IS adopted.

The first act seemed to drone on forever until the final scene where the audience, who was not warned, becomes covered in whip cream pies. I understand physical comedy as something many people find hilarious, however, it is just bad etiquette to not warn any patrons that the first four rows are a splash zone. Myself and many other patrons were dressed well to go to a theatre event and became covered in whip cream and were forced to try and remove it from ourselves during the intermission then smell like sour cream the rest of the show.

On that same note, the theatre does not allow any food or drinks inside. However, the entire theatre was covered in the white, sticky goo. The 20 minute intermission was solely for the cast, minus Kip who made the mess, to clean it off the stage, the set, the walls of the theatre, the seats.

My general issue with this theatre is that in most of their productions, this one included, the strage hands do not wear all black, and they often bring things on stage to store the props in that say in large letters PROPS. It is the little things that go a long way when one is subjected to two hours of a bad play.

The second act was not nearly so terrible. The pace clipped along much better than the first act, which was very slow. The entire second half Laura is heard vomiting in the background and has apparently been sick for two weeks. Everyone in the audience assumes she's pregnant. Her brother, Steve, has broken up with his girlfriend (who has in turn beaten him up). The girlfriend, Heather, played by Erin Glynn, was another bright moment in this play. Each time she was introduced it was with red lights, fog, and eerie sounds as if alluding to her being a vampire, a witch, or some otherworldly character.

Laura (Emily) was her strongest in the scenes with Heather (Erin), finally getting to show off a sort of ballsy side to herself. She actually can act fairly well when given decent material to work with.

Jana, the red head, returns to try and sweep Steve off his feet. While i'm sure it was a thrill for male audience members, as a female, I was rather afraid she might spill out of several of those tops. Her interactions with Heather were also amusing and showed she had more than a one-note dumb blonde in her repertoire.

The only really unfortunate moment in the second act was Pete and Steve's exorcism of Heather. It was again that over-done, unrealistic style. Also, the marker they were supposedly "marking" her pictures with clearly was not making any marks, and once again, the audience was sprayed with water from a water bottle.

All in all, if only the second act had existed, I would not be nearly so ruffled about paying $24 for myself and a guest to attend. If this plans to move forward, Kip will need serious rewrites, especially for the pacing and many of the jokes that a normal audience simply will not get. Perhaps a more talented actor could pull of the play, resting on Pete's shoulders, as well. The descriptions of Pete and the actor Kip blew all forms of believability or reliability of the character right out of the gate. Thanks to the slightly better writing and much better acting sets of the characters featured in Act 2, it redeemed the night just a bit. However, I was still wet, smelled like sour milk, and had paid $24 to be so. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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