Artistree's Theatre Season OPENS with Loose Canon!
It happened at IKEA: Brian Reno and Gabriel Vega Weissman struck comedy gold amid the endless aisles of housewares. The playwrights imagined “how nicely the various Swedish furniture names would play in rhyming couplets,” and thus the seed for a series of short comedies satirizing the world of the American consumer in the style of canonical playwrights was planted. The result is Loose Canon, a walk through history…if history were a strip mall.
“Literate without being pretentious, funny without being dumb, LOOSE CANON is a delightfully fun time,” says NYTheatreNow.com. Playwrights Reno and Weissman say the play, a series of short scenes, is largely an exploration of language and different styles of playwriting through the ages. For instance, in the scene entitled The Most Lamentable Comedie of Moira and Rosa the audience is treated to Shakespearian-style product reviews written for Amazon.com. In the sketch called The Elmae, which is written as a Greek comedy-tragedy, a five-year-old's birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese devolves into chaos due to skirmishes over the prized Tickle-Me-Elmo gift.
In The Perseverators, a trip to IKEA tests the friendship of two young men as a disagreement over interior design becomes a battle of wit in rhyming couplets. The challenges of airline travel, including claustrophobia and the mystery voice making inflight announcements, are explored in the style of Samuel Beckett in Upright & Locked. The realism of an Anton Chekov story can be felt in the sketch The El Taqueria, in which three oblivious sisters try to save their failing family-owned Tex-Mex franchise in North Adams, Massachusetts.
What shines through the six comedy sketches is Reno and Weissman’s admiration for the playwrights being parodied. The juxtaposition of time, location, and writing style are the comedic thread weaving the scenes together into “madcap hilarity” (Theasy.com).
Artistree’s Theatre Coordinator Ashley Barrow adds, “Consumerism these days is slightly (or maybe more) out of control, especially with our recent ’stuck at home with extra stimulus money and the internet at our finger.’ Loose Canon is a fun, hilarious, yet intelligent poke at this topic. I read it and giggled, but when I heard it read out loud by our awesome cast I laughed till I snorted.”
Directed by Mary Gaetz, the cast includes local actors Molly McDermott, Noor Taher, Eric Gaetz, Douglas Dame, Stephanie Morgan, and Beata Randall. Zoe Potter is the stage manager.
Performances will be in the Grange Theatre at Artistree. Masks are required. Showtimes are Thursday, September 16th through Sunday, September 19th with evening performances at 7:30 pm, a Saturday matinee at 3:00 pm, and, a Sunday matinee at 3:00 pm.