Cherry Muffins: A Devilishly Good Time
The latest offering from Cone Man Running is the hysterical supernatural sex romp Cherry Muffins: A Demon Play. I will be up front, the play is just plain funny. It's laugh out loud funny, the performers are excellent in their roles and the direction doesn't lag for a second.
The humor ranges from ribald, to absurd, to witty to just plain madcap. It has non sequitur dance scene there just because they are funny. The sexual tension is well played through out, and everybody, cast and audience, enjoys themselves.
The play revolves around Loreliar (the impish Melissa Molano), Nicold (the sexy Katherine Cunningham) and Sladen (the randy Cameron Dunbar), a family of succubi (and incubus!). Loreliar runs her own little coffee shop employing an oddball collection of barristas, including spicy Kitty (Laura Moreno), artsy Kat (Lindsey Ball, channeling BRIAN BLESSED), the yin and yang combination of new age Wanda (the rubber boned Margaret Lewis) and leg breaker Wendy (Elizabeth Red playing Anger personified), and the angelic Maxwell (William Sanders). Add in the mix Noah (an under utilized Greg Cote) as a regular and would be love interest. All of them put in rollicking performances, and each one gets their moment to shine.
While definitely not for kids, the play offers something for everybody. Spontaneous song and dance routines, lots of clothes flying off (the bras stay on if you're curious), tender moments, awkward moments and lots and lots of sex. Nicold and Sladen have a running gag of their tally which quickly spirals into the thousands over the course of just three days.
It's actually a double barreled romance with the sisters, while Sladen has no such ties and has to settle for just a five-some with half the cast. Throw in a demonic battle to cap it all off involving the titular cherry muffins, and you have a lot of play in just two hours.
Elizabeth A. M. Keel is responsible for Cherry Muffins as both writer and director. She keeps the play going at almost a break neck pace, though she slows down enough for the quiet moments, but does not waste a second ramping things back up for the next bit of silliness. Not once is the play boring, and it seems to fly by once Loreliar's demon siblings arrive early in the first act.
Cherry Muffins: A Demon Play is the best performance I have seen Cone Man Running present. While The Right Kind of People was tight and well acted and written, Cherry Muffins is much more ambitious, and rewards the cast by pulling it all together in a masterful performance, complete with the audience joining in the dance party at the end. Cherry Muffins: A Demon Play runs until March 19th at the Obsidian Theatre, 3522 White Oak. Arrive early as parking is an issue and the play was almost standing room only.