Monday, October 27, 2008

Hanna-Barbera Play Festival @ The Annex Theater

The Annex Theater crew, including Tim Paggi, Evan Moritz, Kaitlin Murphy and Grace Bedwell, never ceases to amaze , improve and present creative ideas in an unimaginably cool and effortless way. The Hanna-Barbera play festival, the latest project of the ever-busy thespians, brought together avant-garde actors and playwrights from Baltimore, New York and Virginia.
The chosen cartoons, Snagglepuss, Wacky Races, Tom and Jerry, The Smurfs and Space Ghost, along with films by Mark Brown and Kevin Blackistone, highlighted different elements of the classic styles. Snagglepuss, fantastically depicted by Andy Abelow, captured the corny dialog and flowery antic of the clueless mountain lion. Wacky Races drove home the looping backdrop phenomenon, while the Smurfs used classic characters to parody the election.
Most notable, however, were Tom and Jerry, directed by and starring Donna Sellinger, with fabulous costumes and props by Dina Kelberman, and Kaitlin Murphy and Grace Bedwell's Space Ghost puppet show. Tom and Jerry's minimal sets, and fantastic lighting emphasized the mime aspects of the original cartoon. The action was in the facial expression and exaggerated body language.

Space Ghost blew my mind-seriously. The sets were fantastic, the props and puppets were surreal and the performance hilariously-perfectly-deadpan (especially Owen Gardner's Space Ghost). With action-packed puppet attacks, and an amazing accompaniment by Snacks' Tom Boram and Dan Breen (who added their magic to all of the shorts), Space Ghost was amazing.

Don't miss Ionesco's Rhinoceros, directed by Kaitlin Murphy, November 13 - 15 @ 8pm