John Drake’s Event Journal

Namosaur 071113
Sunday July 21, 2013 / 3:00pm (Preview)
1 ticket
General Admission Complimentary

How was your experience?

Clear I hated it I didn't like it It was OK I liked it I loved it!
This show was, as another reviewer said about some of its jokes, "silly," to be sure, and that's not necessarily a bad thing, however it never really rose above that silliness to become significant in any way either. The show is full of over the top performances, intentionally, as in a film like Airplane, though lacking enough moments of restraint to make the truly over the top, much bigger than life moments feel funny. There was just a bit too much mugging and cartoonish physicality to ground it to some degree and make those big over the top moments really work. The actor who played Sgt. Montrose best walked the line between over the top and naturalism, knowing when to delve into each, almost making him appear to be a straight man when compared to some of wackiness surrounding him, which I imagine was intentional. One of the actresses who played multiple parts, so I will mention her by name to make it easier to specify who she is, Angela DeMarco, also did a pretty good job of not taking things too far, and walking that line. Another actor who played multple parts, Jon Sevigny, had some funny moments, reminding me a bit of Jon Lovitz. The performances of the female lead, Weaver, and the evil doctor, Nyguen Nyguen, were the most guilty culprits as far as going a bit too far with the cartoonishness, causing me to cringe a little at times, though there seemed to be an awareness of this occasionally on the part of the evil doctor which caused him to (by his choice or the director's) pull back and make a few moments comically small in comparison to the rest of his performance. A bit more of this would have evened out his role nicely, and while it would have become a "bit" by doing that, it would have been an effective if not particularly original one. I have to give praise to the two actresses who played the two mystical women who came to give advice/warnings to the soldiers (a clear reference to the two tiny Japanese girls in Mothra vs. Godzilla). Their synchronicity of movement and vocals, as well as their frozen facial expressions were pretty impressively done most of the time, and kind of creepy. In defense of the actors overall in this, as far as the overabundance of over the top moments goes, the director is responsible for seeing when to pull them back and clearly he didn't, leading to some silliness, that wasn't funny, just silly. The script is pretty basic in structure and rifled with quotes from well-known films, sometimes used effectively for humor, sometimes just seeming to serve as dialogue and no other purpose beyond that. (Laughing at the quotes just because one recognizes them starts to become more infrequent once you've reached a certain amount of that kind of thing...and that point was reached in this show). Some of the jokes were just plain unfunny and definite "misses", and there was nothing the actors could have done about that. Some were funny. And some of the references to other films were funny too...some weren't. I wasn't sure what the bit was with Professor Chaldarhallohapzrd giving the soldiers cokes and candy bars all the time. Must be a reference or joke, I just didn't get. Kudos to the company though, for producing a new show, even if it's not a particularly strong one. The lighting and sound were both fine, with the score including some very evocative Vietnam War era music; some of those songs being very common choices for evoking that era, but still effective and enjoyable. The set and scenery was simple but effective in representing multiple locations for the most part. The Namosaur itself could have used a bit more work. Having the Namosuar operator clad in an outfit that represented the beast's body rather than having the large and well-made head attached to a small and poorly made body with an actor clad in black operating it, would have been a bit nicer looking. The pterodactyl looked nice though. Also, having the operators of the dinosaurs clad in black, while a tradition for that sort of thing, didn't work in this show. You generally clad the operators of such mechanisms/puppets in black in low lighting, or against a black background because your eye is less drawn to the operator then, and more to the mechanism/puppet. As the background here was camouflage, cladding the operators in camo would have been much more effective. Although there was a sort of charming quality to it, making it seem like the trapping of a B-movie; a sort of Ed Wood-like production technique. So not a show I would have been happy to pay full price for ($20), but worth seeing for less if you have a friend involved in the show or are a fanatic for B-movies, and very over the top performances. Not something I would recommend to the average theatre-goer.

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