Thursday, 14 August 2014

SummerWorks Play - Chicken Grease is Nasty Business

Tonight Teena and I were at the SummerWorks Festival production of Chicken Grease is Nasty Business, which is at the Theatre Passe Muraille till August 16.

From award-winning playwright Michael Miller the World Premiere of the riotous new comedy Chicken Grease is Nasty Business. 

“Entertaining chaos of an unusually antic African-American family that makes a three-ring circus looks like a rest home!”

 Modestine fries the South’s best chicken but when she hatches a plan to lure her sons back home, best friend Pearl calls her crazy, son Dwayne’s bride-to-be clearly has other plans, son Delmar falls hard and Dr. Long offers mouth-to-mouth as this dizzying plot twists clean out of control. 

Written by Michael Miller, Directed by Kim Blackwell, Produced by Grant Ramsay, Set Design by Mary Spyrakis, Costume Design by Dylan Bobier, Sound Design by Beau Dixon, Choreography by Monica Dottor, Fight Direction by Edward Belanger, Stage Managed by Darcy Patrick, Assistant Directed by Jade O'Keeffe, Starring Lili Francks, Karen Glave, Danny Waugh, Christian Lloyd, Dian Marie Bridge, Sedina Fiati, Jeremiah Sparks, Jade O'Keeffe

I came to see a madcap comedy and that is what I saw. In many ways, it is reminiscent of an English comedy, only quite North American.

Modestine, now a woman who is old enough to retire but keeps her takeout chicken place running,  is a woman with a big heart. She has three kids, all adopted, one having been dropped on her doorstep. She is throwing a party at the restaurant for her son, Dwayne, and hopes the entire family can get together. Oh, and she just has just adopted a sick baby that day.

Dwayne plans to propose to Jolene. Dwayne's sister, Pearl, hates Jolene. Jolene is pregnant. Delmar, who is Dwayne and Pearl's gay brother, and may have fallen in love that day, also hates Jolene. Mattie, drops by with some news which upsets everyone and the upcoming party.

I told you it was madcap.

The play was funny but unpolished. There were many funny lines but while the audience was laughing, the actors continued going instead of pausing for a moment to let the laughter die down before continuing. As a result, we missed many of the comebacks. The actors also talked very fast so at times were hard to follow and a couple of times the actors faced away from the audience as they spoke so I couldn't hear them.

Are these reasons to stay away?

No! It was a fun production and never dragged during its 90 minutes. It was a very enjoyable production!

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