This Week In Theater
By Rose Desena
I have to hand it to the crew at the Sacred Fools Theater Company. They really are extremely creative and certainly take chances. That’s what makes them one of my favorite groups. Their new production, “Mother Ship”, is an over-the-top science fiction story with a down-to-earth message.
Penelope (Aviva Pressmen) wants a baby; she doesn’t care what she has to do, including driving her husband Trevor (Bryan Bellomo) nuts with on-demand sex that’s controlled by a thermometer and her ovulation schedule. Nothing is working so in order for the couple to move to the next stage, they need to extort some money from Trevor’s sex-crazed Mom (Lynn Odell). They attempt to bring up the subject of money at a Mother’s Day celebration in which the whole dysfunctional family is gathered together.
This is a familiar story, watching a few friends of mine drive themselves totally insane over failed attempts at having a baby. They go into a baby conceiving frenzy that consumes their lives and at times stresses their relationship to the brink of extinction. Jonas Oppenheim (writer) driven by his own experience toys with the audience, bringing up questions of morality and allows us to experience the absurdity of it all, and let’s not forget the role that money plays, the cost for insemination or other methods of forcing the body to conceive is quite expensive allowing only those with the financial means the luxury of these artificially induced options.
Don’t be fooled. This production is not as pedestrian as it sounds, after all it’s Sacred Fools and there is nothing normal about them; Oppenheim must have had a fascination with Star Trek. Somehow a faulty hot-water heater in the home of Trevor and Penelope transports the whole production onto a second set, a space ship, complete with costumed characters from outer space. Trevor mistakenly ends up on the ship with a captain from another ship whose mission is to save the world ends up in his house. The whole story goes way over the top, in a highly entertaining way. We move back and forth between the couple’s home and the spaceship and get the whole clash of evil versus good with a surprising but traditional ending.
The acting is excellent, some of the characters are just so endearing. Julie Griswold is adorable as the little robot girl who runs around trying to fix everyone. You will love Capitan Pax the gay space commander and Curt Bonnem (Golom) as the young stud lover of Trevor’s Mom. Oppenheim is also the director; he moves the cast around a very complicated stage set, with lots of doors and reversible props and pieces that were fun but didn’t seem to flow properly; however, the cast skillfully covered it up, by making the mishaps part of the show’s scripted dialog. It was opening night, and some of the clumsiness will correct itself as the show runs. However, knowing this group, it all could have been part of the show.
My real complaint is the length; it was just too long, and it lost some of the impact and the value as you drift off into never-never-land wondering when it’s going to end. The message is a good one, but there is just too much going on with side stories and innuendoes that are not relevant. It needs a little time on the cutting-room floor.
If you’re a Sacred Fools fan, or you’re a Star Trekker, give this a GO, and if you do go check out a fun bar just down the street called the Faculty. Mike is an Italian from NYC, not only does he have great wines that he prides himself on seeking out from small wineries but he also ships in cannoli’s and cheese cake from the legendary Italian bakery in little Italy, Ferrara’s. It will make a perfect night of craziness and good taste.
“The Mother Ship”
Written and Directed by Jonas Oppenheim
Runs Friday and Saturday night @ 8pm until Aug 2 and (no Show July 4th)
Scared Fools Theater Company
660 N. Heliotrope Dr., Los Angeles Ca. 90004.