Crazy Costumes Highlight Douglas Play
November 26, 2009
I recently attended a DouglasPlus workshop for “Next Stop Amazingland” at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. Because this production was being presented by the same creators of the critically acclaimed dreamscape vaudeville “All Wear Bowlers” (2005), I was interested to see it.
Trey Lyford and Geoff Sobelle teamed up with world-class magician Steven Cuiffo to form this mix of half-theatre, half-magic show. The idea was to combine the magic with glitz, humor, and bizarre, off-the-wall characters.
Overall, it was entertaining as a theatre show but not as good as a magic show. At times it seemed as if the actors were putting on a dress rehearsal, experimenting with different magic tricks in order to get a reaction from the audience. To see what worked. Since it is a workshop, the audience needs to expect that they are fine-tuning the act.
Because the theatre is relatively small and intimate, the audience could see how the tricks were done. “All Wear Bowlers” was flawless from start to finish, so when I compare the two, “Amazingland” does not live up to the same standards.
Though the magic was not that impressive, “Dennis Diamond” did come up with an impressive “microphone” trick, the best trick of the night. But, what lacked in the magic was made up in the creative characters and crazy costumes. Lyford, Sobelle, and Cuiffo are very talented actors who transformed themselves into these off-the-wall amateurish showmen.
They knew how to play to the audience and feed of their reaction. Each character had their moment to shine and when they weren’t performing tricks, but were instead establishing their character, that is when the show worked. I feel that if they focused on a better storyline that flowed and had the magic play a minor character of the piece, the show would have a better result.
I hope that they take all the feedback from their performance workshop and re-shape the show into something great. I am always interested to see these guys perform.
CAST and CREW: Trey Lyford,Geoff Sobelle,Steven Cuiffo