Hip Shot: Mirabilia
Thursday, July 18, 10:15 p.m.
Tuesday, July 23, 6:15 p.m.
Saturday, July 27, 3:00 p.m.
They say: "Two friends, separated in a storm, journey in search of each other and write letters describing their odd, magical and often comic encounters. Through props, movement and variety performance, the cast brings to life these tales of a fantastic world."
Mirabilia consists of two intertwining picaresque stories. K.C. Quartermain (Rebecca Rose Vassey) has a home in a neighborhood where she's a major thread in its tapestry. Her friend A.J. McCloud (Erica Smith) is a wanderer who came to stay for a little while and formed a strong friendship with K.C. On this visit, A. J. decides to stay, but is taken off by a flood to a world that's not quite our own. K.C. feels compelled to find her.
For the next hour, the two friends find separate paths through weird places including a bridge that shouldn't be crossed, a town that time forgot, and a piece of driftwood at sea. They meet a variety of odd people — including The Man in the Hat (standout Sean Butler); ipart narrator, part impetus — some of whom help the leads on their journey and some of whom hinder. There are cryptic directions to guide each character to the mythic Forest of Lamps where their destinies await.
The play was written by Vassey and Smith and directed by Vassey and Butler. There are some genuinely magic moments, including a dance with a lit hula hoop by supporting player Melissa Schick, and moments of gentle humor from Eric Cline and Jonathan Wurzel who round out the cast of eccentrics.
The production could have benefited from a director who had an objective point of view. There are moments where the audience is told and not shown what's going on, one of the limitations of a small space, and transitions between scenes aren't clean. There's really nothing to fill the moments while props and set pieces are being stricken or placed. But the sound values were good, and the lighting serviceable.
In spite of these nitpicks, the play has a great deal of joy, kindness, and magic. I look forward to seeing Eclectic Mayhem Productions' next effort.
See it if: you like tall tales and magical adventures.
Skip it if: you're put off by amateur production values.