Fringeworthy

Hip Shot: Imagination Meltdown Adventure

Mountain at Mount Vernon United Methodist Church

Remaining Performances:
Wednesday, July 18, 8:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 19, 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 21, 11:59 p.m.
Thursday, July 26, 10:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 29, 6:45 p.m.

They say: "A young man is tricked into unleashing the apocalypse in a hero–epic puppet–spectacle. An original work brought to life through music, puppetry and adventure packed battles!"

Lindsey's Take: Raptors, UFOs, zombies, lasercats, robots, unicorns, cowboy wizards, and space nazis will all join the battle of the imaginary apocalypse, and if you don’t believe me, just ask the cast of Imaginary Meltdown Adventure. “This play”—as the writers profess in the program—“was an opportunity for us to indulge in the familiar stories of our childhood, and our attempt to stage the fantastical worlds we so gleefully escape to.” So they included all the nods to nerditry that they pleased—and why not?

If that’s not enough, there are battle scenes scored with 8-bit tunes, and the villains of a role-playing game come alive as our hero plummets into a dark and twisted dream. There’s superlative use of the word "lame." A sarcastically omniscient narrator. And, of course, the puppets. Colorful cardboard creations come to life in the hands of the cast, who all play a variety of roles with the assistance of life-size puppet costuming, simple but dramatic.

The plot is familiar—another nod to the epic journey, to reclaiming lost love, to defeating overwhelming enemies. You know, like Mario Bros., with a few quirks to keep things interesting. Like a binge-drinking incident with a trash can that heralds the apocalypse and unleashes imaginary evil into the world. Or taking a journey into that magical realm with the main character, his sister, a figment of his imagination, and a turtle.

Maybe those plot points aren’t for you. (But come on: raptors). Instead, consider the skill behind this creation of Pointless Theatre. A live band accompanies each montage, with original lyrics and music. There’s side-scrolling choreography, a jazzercise fight scene, and frenetic action followed by thoughtful dialogue. The puppets are originally wrought, especially those made to be manipulated by the group—an amorphous, churning mass that consumes everything in its path, or the choir of angels that become demonic tricksters with a simple turn. And consider the creators; they are young, they are talented, and they create art as it should be—a pouring of oneself into a concept that they have brought to fruition. And they clearly have fun doing it.

But next time, more pirates and ninjas, please.

See It If: Duh, raptors.

Skip It If: If you find yourself asking, "8-bits of what?" "Space nazis?" or "...puppets?"

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