Calculus: The Musical is held at the Watershed High School, about six blocks from here. The author/performer (who I interviewed after the show) says it's for adults, to try to explain calculus better. In that sense, it doesn't work. Marc and Sadie perform song parodies and mug their way through history and math: Math Filk as done by neofen, with slide show and whiteboard. It's a better examination of the history of the development of calculus than an explanation of how to work the equaltions. A for Effort, x-1 for execution and the material asymptotically approaches good... but never quite touches the line. Somehow, being in a High School classroom helps. s a fun romp, but needs work before they take it on the road. I'm going to be generous and give it two and a half stars.
The Depth of the Ocean is performed in the pool at the downtown YWCA. In the pool. The audience is around the pool, and you have to take off your shoes. The basic plot has been explored before by various science fiction/fantasy writers. The main weakness of this play is that the plot doesn't resolve. But, I suspect, that's not the point. The acting is terrific and the characters are drawn very sharply. Four stars.
Dinner break, then head over to the West Bank for two shows in a row.
Illinois Jane and the Temple of Peril is a very poor parody of the Indiana Jones movies but does have some clever bits. I give it 2 and a half stars, a half star for the fight on the moving train and one entire star for the mime.
Cannibal: The Musical is sick, disgusting, violent, profane and I loved it. Written by Trey Parker, of South Park fame, it explores the story of Alfred Packer, who leads a group of potential gold miners into the Rockies. They get lost and run out of food. Hilarity ensues. The large ensemble acting company is great, the songs are great, the set is great and the show has belly laughs and guilty titters galore. At times I felt I was watching an uncensored version of South Park, and it has the same wide-eyed clueless response to the deadly stupidity of real life, but that doesn't do the show justice. I was going to round this down due to technical problems with the projector, but am rounding it back up to Five Stars because it's 90 minutes; twice as long as most of the shows I've seen so far. I would have stayed for more.
Yes, that means I've now given the highest rating to two shows (out of seven so far) when I only have one last year (out of 24), and one the year before.