Fairy Tale Theatre: 18 and Over
Written by J. Michael Feldman
Directed by Annie McVey
Produced by Daniel Shoenman and Elliot Shoenman
Presented by Daniel Shoenman and The Inkwell Theatre
We're going to begin this review with its happily ever after, because the first thing you should do is make sure you can get in to see Fairy Tale Theatre: 18 and Over. Tickets can be easily had by visiting matrixtheatre.com, inkwelltheater.com, or calling 323.852.1446. Click click, ring ring. Get to it.
Now you'll learn why this small action is such a good thing for your life and general well being.
***embarrassingly effusive alert***
Fairy Tale Theatre: 18 and Over is an anomaly, a joy, a riddle, a fable, a foible, and a big surprise; it’s wickedly delightful and the closest thing to perfection you can find on the stage, big or small. It is brilliantly conceived, well written and well played in a world where we're lucky to get even one of those three.
The premise of FTT18+ is that our guide and storyteller, Percy Rutherford—tautly played by writer J. Michael Feldman—is telling us familiar stories in fairy tale style with twists for our newer times and older, wiser selves. Through a series of enchanting, snarky, and comedic vignettes, Percy will deftly answer your vexing 21st century questions such as: should I say anything if I think my best friend is married to a gay guy? Do my friends know the difference between their new dog and an actual human baby? With all those appendages, are centipedes more coordinated than humans? Are raining clouds really sad? And more! So much more that to tell it would be to ruin the fun for you.
Percy is aided by three trusty puppeteers who do such a fabulous job that, yea, you quickly forget they are puppets and they become fully-realized characters. Master Harold, Master Peter, and Mastress Denise are dressed in black and played by Jess McKey, Matt Cook, and Tina Huang. Providing additional performance as various other creatures such as squirrels and monkeys are Courtney Pauroso and Eileen Mullane. Since the costumes and props are vital and inventive enough to be another character entirely, much credit is due to Stephen Rowan, as well. Bravo, sir.
In case I haven’t made my case sufficiently clear, I cannot recall the last time I laughed so well or so long in the theatre. I looked around and noticed the entire audience (young, old, gay, straight, bald, hirsute, boy, girl, etc.) doing the same, as well. No one could be bothered with texting or snoozing unwrapping candy. One and all popped to their feet for a standing O when the show concluded and the chatter on the way out was resoundingly positive, so it’s not just me this time.
There’s a moral to this story: it’s good to get out and support your community theater, good to support people who are keeping the arts alive and to spend an evening laughing so long that your face will hurt. You won’t live happily ever after, but you’ll have one more solid night’s credit toward it.
Where: The Matrix Theatre, 7657 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90046
When: Thursdays through Saturdays, now through Feb. 11
Times: 8:00 p.m.
Running time is about 80 minutes with no intermission.
For reservations: www.inkwelltheater.com or call 323.852.1446