Mo’ Poe in Midtown Haunts

Sinister Sindelar, Nice Neiss in Shelterskelter XVII

Poe, Poe and more Poe. Edgar Allan everywhere, all over the Joslyn Castle and Shelterskeltering at the Shelterbelt, both lacking only the rasping caw of a raven to give them the full gothic atmosphere.

And Scott Working’s Tales of Poe, a Metro Community College creation in league with the Castle, came complete with an ominous, open-beaked raven hovering over the castle turrets, courtesy of a poster by Midwest Photo Pro.

But, alas, my restless wanderings swept me down the hill from Sarah Joslyn’s grand mansion to the dark confines below California Tacos where nine playlets awaited, each more or much less linked to the ill-fated Poe. In short, I saw Shelterskelter XVII, a production accompanied by two asterisked warnings.

First, “There may be loud and sudden noises associated with this production.” Second, “Any smoking products used on stage are non-tobacco in nature and are in compliance with all…ordinances.”

Some of the noises came from the couple sitting next to us who often laughed explosively, and I was inclined to more quietly share their mirth. Perhaps the funniest play, Two Out of Five by Jonas Oppenheim, deserved five stars of the sort awarded by a hilarious Andy Neiss as the main character, a blogger pretentiously reviewing his night on the town.

Andy added the comic highlight of the second act as well, when he played a congenial vampire named Arthur whose blood-sucking nature lurks behind a clipboard used to petition in favor of legalizing hemp. But the fun starts at the very beginning when Mary Beth Slater negotiates with Sarah Planck as Death.

They team again later in a foggy bayou with Planck in long red tresses and costume hosting Slater as a troubled runaway. Both women are far more convincing than the gimmicky twist supplied by the script.

If Neiss dominated the lighter side, veteran actor David Sindelar handled more of the heavier horror. He was subtly sinister in The Monster Seated Next to Me as he chastised a foul-mouthed girl done delightfully by Steffany Urban. They nicely overcame the handicap of not sitting anywhere close to “next to me,” and the fact that it wasn’t at all apparent that they were supposed to be on a subway.

Sindelar shined in just plain Monster where his character, haunted by his victim (Matt Karasek) dissolves under the weight of guilt for a lethal crime. And he is very scary as the undertaker talking Devel Crisp into a casket, with the help of one of those non-tobacco smoking products and the title’s Corpse Wine.

Cold Cream looks at theater in the metro area. Email information to coldcream@thereader.com.  

posted at 03:12 pm
on Saturday, October 06th, 2012

COMMENTS

(We're testing Disqus commenting (finally!); please let us know if you have trouble.)

comments powered by Disqus

 

« Previous Page


Welcome to the Jungle

This is the last weekend to catch the latest show at the Shelterbelt Theatre, In the Jungle You Must Wait by local playwright Jeremy Johnson. The play revolves around several different employees of...

more »


Gaining Momentum

Ballet Nebraska wraps up its 5th anniversary season with their annual tradition called Momentum. This year, the theme of the show is International Masters, featuring a diverse set of pieces from some...

more »


At the Intersection Between High Art and Slapstick

I Hate Hamlet by Paul Rudnick runs through May 10th on the Hawks Mainstage of the Omaha Community Playhouse. It tells the story of Andrew, a young television actor who’s been given the role of a...

more »


Hold On to Your Hats

            The Candy Project has returned after a long hiatus to present its latest offbeat show, Gutenberg! The Musical! at The Pizza Shoppe Collective in Benson. The show revolves around two...

more »


Hurricane Donna

Harbor by Chad Beguelin is currently running through March 29th at SNAP Productions on 33rd and California Street in Omaha. The story chronicles of Donna, her brother Kevin, and their families....

more »







Advanced Search