A review by Suzanne Birrell.
Thaddeus Shafer as Dr. Duchenne, Tyler Bremer (Bon-Bon), Alexis Jones (Fifi), Andrew Eldredge (Pepe) and The Machine
Photos courtesy of Andrew Eiden.
Four Clowns presentation of David Bridel's new play Lunatics & Actors now playing at the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles is one of those performances you experience. I can't tell you too much or I will spoil it so this will have to be more of an impressionistic review. I'll start with WOW.
plays Dr. Duchenne and we the audience are there to witness his demonst
rations on how he can control emotion. He asks for volunteers from the audience, specifically actors. He then interviews them and the comedy begins. (Kudos to the volun
teers who definitely added to the show). He then chooses one of the actors to participate in a game of matching emotions.
Three "Lunatics" are then brought on stage and introduced. Tyler Bremer as Bon-Bon, Alexis Jones as Fifi, an Andrew Eldredge as Pepe are there to interpret emotions in a match against the volunteer actor. The result is hysterically funny. The actors are spot on.
We the audience have our own emotions played with as we get sucked into the "demonstration." I was totally drawn into the story. There are moments that are very disturbing especially when you realize that
Lunatics & Actors is based on the real life obsessions of famed doctor, Duchenne du Boulogne
who once engaged in this experimentation.
All parts of the production contribute to a brilliant whole. The set & properties designer Fred Kinney provided an intriguing backdrop. Even the audience sitting in comfortable chairs with ample leg room was necessary to the performance because action overflowed into the audience. In addition, the "machine" was terrifyingly real. The Costumes designed by Elena Flores were wonderfully period and complete with period strait jackets. The lighting designed by Azra King-Abadi provided an overall eeriness to the stage. Kate Fechtig provided a sound design that set the stage from the moment the we walked into the theatre.
Lunatics & Actorsis a performance to be experienced. A titillating story cleverly directed with unforgettable performances. Do not miss this one.
Los Angeles' premiere clown troupe, Four Clowns, presents a world premiere production of Lunatics & Actors by David Bridel and directed by Jeremy Aluma.
The production runs April 29th - May 28th, 2016 at The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles
(1238 W 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90026).
WHEN: 12 PERFORMANCES ONLY
Friday, April 29 at 8pm
Saturday, April 30 at 8pm
Friday, May 6 at 8pm
Saturday, May 7 at 8pm
Friday, May 13 at 8pm
Saturday, May 14 at 8pm
Thursday, May 19 at 8pm
Friday, May 20 at 8pm
Saturday, May 21 at 8pm
Thursday, May 26 at 8pm
Friday, May 27 at 8pm
Saturday, May 28 at 8pm