ComedySportz, 5 stars, see remaining performing times here.
Laura S. Packer’s retelling of the story of Beauty and the Beast is the knockout here, of the four tales she re-tells. Packer borrows something of the snark from the “Fractured Fairy Tales” segment from the old Bullwinkle cartoon series which she watched as a kid. But those old animated shorts don’t have much to say about eroticism and desire. These shorts don’t have much to say about the complexity of human nature. Like, say, when we tell our loved ones we want beauty in the form of a rose, when a rose really isn’t what gets us off at night. The protagonist of this story (Beauty) finds, to her surprise, that Beast gets her off in a big way. This is after becoming prisoner in his castle. But this realization doesn’t come overnight. As a prisoner, each night she endures his marriage proposals. And each night she finds herself drawn a little more to him. Until one night she finds herself digging her fingers into his back...and much more. But the ending of this story - which is full of happy endings, as it were - ends on a more ambiguous note. In the end, this retelling is as chock full of insight into human nature as an Ann Beattie short story. Packer’s a natural both as a storyteller and an impromptu performer. The latter talent she exhibits amply in the segment “Red Riding Hood in the Moment.” Here, the direction she takes from the audience governs whether the story will end happily ever after, or in oblivion.