Bwog contributor Allison Grossman brings us an eyewitness account from the 4th Annual Egg and Peacock, which took place in the Lerner Black Box last night.
If you missed yesterday’s caffeine-fueled theatrical marathon, known as the Egg and Peacock festival, you missed two and a half hours of delightful snuggie references (sleeved blankets, Oprah-style), famous particle colliders, and talking statues. Starting at midnight on Saturday, eight short pieces were written, rehearsed and produced by an 8:00 PM curtain in the Lerner Black Box. The resulting pieces ran the gamut from the hilariously absurd to the eerily dramatic with common threads and themes running throughout. The night’s highlights are as follows:
Waiting for Godot to Shut the Fuck Up, like its namesake, consisted of people sitting around talking about life. The pessimistic Steven, played by
Stewart Partin Jon Kaplan, has just finished composing his living will. He mulls over various aspects of life and death, including death by Dunkin Donuts coffee, with friends in his apartment. As their conversation proceeds, snarky pop culture references abound. Although he relies heavily on cultural absurdities for laughs, Adam Nover’s sharp script is delivered with great comedic timing, causing hysterical laughter. It is difficult to forget Sam Klug’s deadpan delivery of, “I’m a cervix man,” or the absurd pantomime of a Lassie-Hellen Keller crossover TV show. Their banter is cut short when Steven chokes on a popcorn kernel and is visited by Death, who informs him that it is not yet his time, and tells him that the true cause of his death will be, as previously suspected, burns from a Dunkin Donuts coffee cup.
In On the Unsustainable Height of Certain Celestial Bodies, Henry tries to cheer up his friend, Sam, whose girlfriend of two weeks has just broken up with him because she didn’t want to “have sex upside-down like Batman.” Sam has been trying to heal his pain through sculpture, painting, and plagiarism of Langston Hughes. Henry tries to convince Sam of the insignificance of his problems by telling him about the opening of the Large Hadron Collider that could spell imminent doom. Dan Aprahamiam and Aaron Rotenberg give amusing and convincing performances as Sam and Henry, both plausible characters. Rosalind walks into Sam’s apartment looking for her earrings. After hearing about the LHC and Sam’s pleas, the two of them reconcile with Rosalind agreeing to give Batman-style a try. Patrick Barrett’s script is short and sweet giving the audience a piece that is fun and easy to watch.
The sixth piece, entitled Everything He Could Steal, can only be described as hilariously absurd. It follows Edmund (Stewart Patin) through what is probably the worst day of his life. He gives brash answers, makes bold accusations against his boss, so his boss subsequently fires him for insubordination. In retaliation, he sniffs paint and returns to confront his boss. Events take a turn for the bizarre when Edmund’s boss turns into the Joker, gives him a lecture about entropy, challenges him to a duel and then machine guns him to death. The agile script by David Iscoe, talented actors, and inventive directing by Justin Grace combined to make this show ridiculously entertaining and the crowd rewarded them by erupted at the end of the play.
The festival ended on a serious note, with a drama, Serving Time, written by KCST President Dan Blank. Archie Jones moves into a new prison cell with an old man who has been at the prison for twenty-four years. The old man claims he knows when each inmate will die. Archie begs the old man to tell him his date, and the old man reluctantly complies, revealing that Archie should have died the day before. The old man angrily tells Archie that he messed up the space-time continuum. He solves the problem by strangling Archie, but is killed shortly thereafter by his boss. Serving Time succeeded in delivering the creepy factor.
The 4th Annual Egg and Peacock delivered on its promise of caffeinated crazy. If you missed out on last night’s festivities, there’s always next year, although I can’t guarantee that the next batch of playwrights will incorporate leprechauns, Dunkin Donuts, and snuggies quite as skillfully.