Left to Right: Lior Lapid (Phil) and Marcus Dreeke (Benny)
Left to Right: Tony Cordova (D.W. DeWitt), Lior Lapid (Phil) and Marcus Dreeke (Benny), Britney Bunker (Louise)
Left to Right: Kevin Coyle (Cochette's Assistant), Britney Bunker (Louise), and Jeniffer Griffee Perrotta (Cochette)
Left to Right: Joel Schwartz (Shel) and Mike Cook (Jack)
Set rendering from Vector Works
Set under construction - Folded
Set under construction - Unfolded
Platform in base coat
Queen of the Nile's Throne -Built from styrofoam and lauan with hydroseal base coat
Queen of the Nile's Throne -Built from styrofoam and lauan final finish
Hieroglyphics detail (Gs Throne)
Finished set and floor
Jun 29-Jul 09, 2003
'Epic Proportions' is sassy summer fun
- By Cheryl Thornburg, Las Cruces Sun News
No Strings Theatre has gone Hollywood with its latest production and it could be a summer box office smash in Las Cruces. The zany comedy "Epic Proportions" takes a look at the funny side of conspiracy, plagues, famines and of course, Hollywood movie-making.
The time is the 1930s in the Arizona desert where director D.W. DeWitt (played to perfection by Tony Cordova) is filming a biblical epic including Roman and Egyptian history. The cast of thousands is played by eight of the area's best actors -- and the audience -- but don't worry you never have to leave your seat. Audience members get to play the mob and jeer and cheer the various goings-on on stage.
At the heart of the epic are two brothers who start out as extras in the film and end up directing and starring in it. Marcus Dreeke plays Benny, the movie-star wannabe who has left the family farm to pursue his dream and has landed a job as one of thousands of extras. Lior Lapid plays his older brother, Phil, who comes to bring him home, but also gets caught up in the movie-making magic.
Dreeke and Lapid have an excellent sense of comedic timing and work well together, but when you add Britney Bunker to the mix as assistant director Louise Goldman, you've got a classic love triangle that is just plain fun to watch.
Bunker seems to have been born to play this role. She has a glint in her eye and just the right upbeat, coaxing tone in her voice as she cajoles the extras (alias the audience) to do their best in the crowd scenes.
Keeping things lively are four talented comedic actors who change scenes, characters and costumes in the blink of an eye.
Melissa Munoz designed an amazing collection of costumes, from togas to Egyptian dancing girl attire to gladiator gear, all of which need to be quick-change friendly.
Jennifer Griffee Perrotta, Kevin Coyle, Mike Cook and Joel Adam Schwartz seem to be having as much fun as the audience as they frolic through history. Perrotta particularly shines in the Egyptian scenes.
Kevin Coyle, who turned in a side-splitting performance in last year's "Shakespeare Abridged," once again demonstrates his versatility and gift for comedy. He moves from conspirator to pompous emperor to Egyptian servant with ease.
Schwartz is new to the area theater scene, but is guaranteed to become a regular. He seems at home on the stage and in a toga.
Cook, who has played smaller roles in other area productions, gets to show what he can do in this production as he tackles roles as a Roman general, a gladiator and Jack, one of the movie production crew.
Adding to the pacing of this show are the various fight scenes which were choreographed by Perrotta and Coyle.
The script (for the play, as well as "the movie") was penned by Larry Coen (associate director of City Stage Company of Boston) and David Crane (co-creator and executive producer of "Friends"). Their knowledge of actors, directors and comedy are reflected in this fast-paced satire of movie-making.
Director Ceil Herman has once again assembled the perfect cast and crew to turn the Black Box stage into a sweeping movie set of the 1930s.
Peter Herman designed the lighting and sets, Barbara Alford designed the props and Eleanor Wood took on the unsung role of stage manager.
No seating plan has been posted.