Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Powerhouse (FringeNYC)

By Ben

BOTTOM LINE: Outstanding. If you've ever thought the Fringe was sub-par, go see this show.

Holy crap, that was awesome. From the moment it begins this show does not skip a beat. It was tight. Wow. Honestly every element of Sinking Ship Productions' Powerhouse was perfect and brilliantly creative. It’s really what live theater can be that no other medium can match.

Powerhouse tells the story of Raymond Scott, a composer from the 1930’s whose unique style of jazz and swing music hit the airwaves and became the soundtrack for the classic Warner Brothers Cartoons. Erik Lochtefeld's compelling performance as Scott, from his simple entrance to his tragic end, never loses the audience's empathy for this man’s obsessed life and human flaws. The ensemble work that rounds out the rest of the cast fills the stage with energy and great acting. They dance, use puppetry and create a world of characters that you’ll love to watch every moment of.

Did I say puppetry? You bet I did. Kick booty puppetry. Wasn’t even expecting it, but when the puppetry is used it the play becomes so animated (no pun intended) and alive that it just gets better and better. Eric Wright is both a cast member and the puppets' designer. The puppets are created in a fashion I’ve never seen and they are worth the price of admission to simply see the work the ensemble does with them. My hat is off to the cast, as well, for their ability to never let the energy drop and fly around the stage with such exhilaration. The show also includes set pieces so unique and creative they serve as a reminder of how cool theater can be.

And that’s just it. This was a brilliant, exciting piece of theater. Live theater can be such a blast with great artists working together on every level to make something spectacular like this show.

This show had better be picked up and staged in a New York theater so the world can see it beyond the Fringe. As for you, my dear reader, find out if tickets are available and SEE THIS SHOW!

(Powerhouse plays at The Connelly Theatre, 220 East 4th Street between Avenues A and B. Performances are Wednesday 8/19 at 2:45pm, Saturday 8/22 at 2:15pm, Sunday 8/23 at 7pm and Friday 8/28 at 9:30pm. For tickets and show info visit sinkingshipproductions.com and for more FringeNYC info visit fringenyc.org.)

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