Review: With a Bang at the Phoenix Theatre 

The cast of Pete McElligott's With A Bang (L to R) Greg Howard (Dad), Ben Rose (Marcus), Lisa Ermel (Margaret), Nick Carpenter (Halbick), Matthew Van Oss (John Boy) and Karen Irwin (Dani). Photo by Zach Rosing
  • The cast of Pete McElligott's With A Bang (L to R) Greg Howard (Dad), Ben Rose (Marcus), Lisa Ermel (Margaret), Nick Carpenter (Halbick), Matthew Van Oss (John Boy) and Karen Irwin (Dani). Photo by Zach Rosing

4 Stars

Phoenix Theatre; directed by Bryan Fonseca; through Aug. 14.

With a Bang is a new sci-fi comedy that forecasts the apocalypse as it blends mystery and humor with a lot blood. Playwright Pete McElligott demonstrates his hearty wit with humor and plot devices reminiscent of Kevin Smith's Dogma. As the first part of a trilogy to unfold at the Phoenix in the next two years, the play intentionally leaves its audience with many unanswered questions. While the plot takes a few difficult jumps toward the end adding confusion to an already complicated story, this two and a half hour play flashes by. An added treat, the highly quotable script offers a lot to mull over with one-liners that keep you chuckling well into your night.

Leading actors, Nick Carpenter and Lisa Ermel, give enjoyable high-energy performances. But the real stand-outs of this show are Matthew Van Oss and Ben Rose, whose physical gags and broad comedy have consistently perfect timing. Sound, lighting and scenic design elements each create characters that subtly guide the audience, create suspense and sign-post for what's to come without ever taking center stage.

My one wish for this show: program notes that explain this play as the first in a series of three. Without that, I fear many baffled audience members may pour out of the theater feeling mind-fucked. Expect a cliffhanger ending that leaves you anticipating the end of the world in the beginning of a new theatrical trilogy.

Speaking of...

Latest in Theater + Dance

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Feedback

Recent Comments


Reader Reviews

More by Katelyn Coyne

© 2014 NUVO | Website powered by Foundation