Backstage’s Mark Peikert on the Trilogy

(Photo: Justin Hoch. Pictured: Becky Kelly)

Backstage’s Mark Peikert was our second reviewer to take on all three plays, and his review just went up on Backstage. Before sharing the highlights and more great pics with you, I’d like to take a moment to praise Backstage for their support of Indie theatre. They don’t ever seem to get the recognition they deserve for their unstinting coverage of theatre big and small. The only organizations I know of that cover as much theatre are and the folks at Show Showdown. Whatever your feelings about criticism and coverage of theatre, Backstage is undeniably putting lots of boots (pens?) on the ground.
And without further ado, the highlights!

by Mark Peikert
One of the pleasures derived from attending lots of Off-Off-Broadway plays is the chance to discover new talent, and Johnna Adams‘ wildly ambitious and mostly successful new trilogy is currently offering a bumper crop of it.

(Photo by: Johnna Adams. Pictured: Candice Holdorf, Rebecca McHugh, Zack Robidas)

The first installment, Angel Eaters, finds a family barely scraping by in Depression-era Oklahoma. But their limited funds don’t prevent mother Myrtle (Catherine Michele Porter) from giving two traveling carnie workers $50 to resurrect her recently deceased husband. Of course they can’t do it — but Myrtle’s youngest daughter, Joann (Marnie Schulenburg), can. At a brisk 90 minutes, director Jessi D. Hill keeps the pace tight…Schulenburg comes close to being terrific as the girl who happily brings dead things to terrifying life…Gregory Waller is superb as con man Fortune.
(Photo: Justin Hoch. Pictured: Johnna Adams, Marnie Schulenburg).
Rattlers is the strongest of the three plays, both in terms of the performances and the writing, and (director Jerry) Ruiz does especially well when switching back and forth from the three plots during a tense climax. As Ernelle and her boyfriend Snake, Stewart and Scott Drummond are creepily riveting as they plot together to return Ernelle’s sister to life.

(Photo: Justin Hoch. pictured: Amy Lynn Stewart, Scott Drummond)

And as new widower Everett, Richard B. Watson manages to spit out his tough-guy dialogue while keeping an omnipresent cigarette clenched between his lips.

(Photo: Justin Hoch. Pictured: Richard Watson)

Don’t forget the $14 ticket specials!

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