What did you do this weekend? Homework? Hit up a few parties and a kickback? Enjoyed a nice night in with your significant other? All wrong choices. What you really should have done was attend at least one night of Theater for Charity’s fall semester one-act showcase, “You’re a Hairy Wizard”. It was quite magical.
Now, I say that it was magical both as a pun as well as in a completely serious tone. The show’s theme was magic. Each of the six one-acts was centered around some sort of mysticism and mythology (true), and the writers were required to handwrite each script using the Quill of Acceptance from Harry Potter (validity in question).
The first one-act was “Blood Magic”, written and directed by Andrea Rose and Mandy Thoenen. The story revolves around two more-than-just-friends Ilsa (played by Tanvi Agrawal) and Becky (Cami Jetta). Ilsa just so happens to summon Satan (Logan Hansen) using her menstrual cycle, with an assist from some enchanted Italian pads. This period piece (ha, get it?) showcased how awful Satan is at comedy, dished out some solidly feminist social commentary, and confirmed the fact that “Blurred Lines” on repeat is the definition of hell. What more could you ask for?
“Magic Alliance” tells the unlikely tale of a down-and-out Merlin (Edan Lewis) who is constantly the butt of Gandalf/Dumbledore jokes. Merlin gets banished from the Mob of Magical Mediocrity – or something along those lines – which is comprised of Harry Houdini (Brian Yu), obscure Harry Potter character Heathcote Barbary (Vicki Kaestner), and Tinker Bell (Yasamin Vafai). Merlin ultimately bounces back with some help from that one girl we always try to forget that we know named Stacy (Amar Risbud). Amar, as Stacy, sort of looked like Merida from Brave and he still loved Merlin despite the size of his staff. Lessons to be learned, people.
“Do You Wanna Get Ants, Sam?!” centers around quick-talking, Billy Crystal-esque Sam (Louis Morrone) and robotic Jasmine (Jamie Duncan) who are stuck at marriage counseling with a “doctor” probably not qualified enough to write you “medical” marijuana prescription (Julia Lacayo). Some of the jokes were so sharp that only the truly magically-minded were able to catch every single one. I’ll let you decide which end of the spectrum I was on.
The fourth one-act “L.A.R.P.” documents a day with Emily (Emma Canepa), super-douche Max (Patrick Wiebe), and his hypeman Nick (Zac Vogel) as they inadvertently get caught up in a game of live-action roleplay. The LARPers (Maverick Lopez, Timmy Ngo, Ben Aubart, and Alex Najibi) show the three Muggles the magic in dressing up in bathrobes and whacking people with your pool noodle. I swear that’s not a euphemism. If you ever feel the need to have someone follow you around and inaccurately scream everything you just said, hit up Timmy Ngo. He does it best. And I’m not sure if I should be embarrassed to admit that the characters of Max and Nick really resonated with me.
“Melinda Makes a Wish” brings us the story of awkward Melinda (Gillian Perry) who summons the most fabulous genie (Favio Tello) since Aladdin’s – rest in peace, Mr. Williams – to help her get her man, Derek (Donovan Souza) and triumph over resident mean girl Khloe (Hannah Brandt). In the end, Khloe gets shut down, Melinda gets her man, and Genie gets his Chipotle. Favio Tello, who also co-wrote the one-act with Ela Banerjee, used his sorcery to bring the audience to life with his performance as Genie.
In “The Magic League”, Gina (Claire Asselstine) explains to her younger sister Lucy (Kate Gibson) the true magic behind how babies are made: it hinges on the success of Sir Candymane the Unicorn (Riley Bathauer), Berry Rainbow Prince the Teddy Bear (Davit Dovlatian), and Lord Julius Caesar the T-rex (Natalie Knipe) in their quest to obtain the babymaking potions from the deep, deep, deep, deep, deep, deep, deep, dark tunnel. Claire Asselstine gives the most convincing performance of a 9-year old that I’ve ever seen; I was utterly spellbound.
Make sure you check out Theater for Charity at their upcoming events!