★★★☆☆ - Satisfying
The thing about the growth in Summer theatre is that it continues to offer a terrific variety, from the absurd, which can be found in the yearly Fringe Festival, to big splashy musicals at The Ranch. But, each year the number of productions offered seems to grow almost exponentially.
Majestic Repertory Theatre is offering “The Potter Plays: Unauthorized Tales From the Wizard World,” a collection of short plays that qualify as fan fiction, all written by (I assume) locals. You don’t have to be a Harry Potter connoisseur to understand them, nor to enjoy them.
From the surprise end of the off-kilter “Harold Potter – Case #4017” by Bob Gratrix, to the odd “The Last Bean in the Box” by Evan Baughfman, through the silliness of “7/21/07” by Steven Korber, it’s rather a fun evening. Though I dare say each piece has a message, they aren’t presented in a heavy way. No. These are all comedies, meant to tickle.
There are some fine performances turned in, too. Natalie Senecal brought a nice range to her role of Corey in “The Sorting App” as she tries without success to get Devon (Alex Sund) to commit to their relationship. In “Marauders No More” Matthew Antonizick brought depth to his role of Glenn, a man still not ready to let go of the fantasy world, decrying the last members of his cosplay group as “Fake friends and dream crushers.”
Noah Keeling and Cory Covell do a decent job with Booger and Vomit, the last two surviving candies in an open box. Their only downfall is the attempt at the British dialect which defied area and neither of them managed to sustain.
I have to admit that my favorites would have to be “Harold Potter – Case #4017” due to the clever writing, followed closely by “7/21//07” because it happened to be very true to life, not only for the release of the final Harry Potter book, but the release of every Apple product, and the campers of Black Friday events.
Troy Heard directed the whole caboodle with fun in mind, and it works. The minimalist set used five crests hung above a single platform and several flats in black, drizzled with color. The oddity came with the final vignette using two lawn chairs rather than sticking with (if memory recalls) the boxes and tables the others relied upon.
Acoustics were quite echo-y, with dialogue sometimes bouncing around the room as indistinct sounds. To be fair, it most likely depended on where you sat (others in the crowd understood dialogue I didn’t) and it happened mostly when actors got loud.
If you want to beat the heat of our higher-than-normal temps, jump from the A/C at home to the coolness of the theatre. I dare say, even J.K. Rowling, who encourages but is not allowed to see even a single word of fan fiction, would approve.
When: Thursday - Saturday 8pm; Sundays 5pm through July 8
Where: Majestic Repertory Theatre, 1217 South Main St.