The Eighth Smattering By Cone Man Running Productions
Review By H.G.Welch
Last night Cone Man Running Productions held its biannual charity event at the Landing Theatre Company for the Houston Food Bank. The Eighth Smattering of the World was a collection of nine comedic short plays literally written the day before and performed by actors with just hours of rehearsal. Playing to two packed houses, Christine Weems combination of charity and theatrics was a rousing success.
All nine plays were comedies, and everyone had a great time. With such an intentionally rushed production, plots and writing were sacrificed for the rule of funny. Like the classic bit of wisdom from the Satellite of Love goes, it's just a show and you should really just relax. There were flubbed lines (possibly on purpose), spontaneous accent changes, wardrobe malfunctions, asides, and it was obvious several times the actors went completely off script and did what they thought was the best for the moment. Normally this would make a director rip the script in half, but the audience ate it up.
The myriad of performances included an intergalactic adventurer in search of really great sex, three mad scientists who are rightly chastised by a kidnapped princess for their lack of proper scientific procedures, fairy tale villain try outs, and a rather well done Walter Mitty-esque musical that featured an evil queen paranoid about the wrath of Disney's lawyers.
Prizes were given out at the end, Octopus Vaginia won for best in show for its take on Fairy Tale Villain's trying to increase their ranks. The play also took 'best use of character roles' as well. Darcy Denied and the Super-Fantastic Uber-Musical won best script with half a dozen numbers in less than ten minutes, as well as best use of genre.. Erin Connally won best actress for her role in Adventures on WASP-S3X, playing a character that was literally half male and half female, divided right down the middle. Michael Rabbe won best actor for his roles in Octopus Vagina. As his character role in the play was 'redshirt', he went through characters faster than the Kardashians go through husbands. Funeral the Musical won for “Cast that had the most fun”, with seemingly spontaneous covers of AC/DC, Queen and Ding Dong the Witch is Dead. Chili's is the Bomb Yo took “Best Use of Prop”, with an almost Python inspired obsession with drink coasters. It also got 'best use of line' with the three things needed for a trip to Monaco was more Quaaludes and probably legally allowed.
So were all the plays well put together and the acting solid? It doesn't matter. It wasn't about making the next great theater piece. It was about raising money for the Houston Food Bank. The fundraiser made over $2500, and brought in over 500 cans of food. The audience laughed, the actors laughed, and a good time was had by all. It is a shame that these performances were just for that one day though, The Princess From Another Castle is something that needs to be experienced by anyone who loves fun.
PHOTOS BY CHRISTINE WEEMS PHOTOGRAPHY