Strong cast over-serves audience in Colo. Springs production
Talented, improvisational actors mastering multiple roles in a fairy-tale compilation sadly proves too much of a good thing in The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon, which recently opened in Colorado Springs at Funky Little Theatre Company.
Imagine a classic Saturday Night Live sketch (think, Coneheads) that flops on the big screen. Like Rumpelstiltskin plotting to spin straw into gold, Grimm tries but doesn’t wholly deliver on the bargain or the promised mother lode of laughs.
The show featured a handful of seasoned actors, well-synched in comic precision, playfully engaging the audience to interlace the tales with fluid ease. The cast’s improv talents were showcased against a minimalistic set with few props— from garish wigs and a plastic crown to a ghoulish nose and apron-like dress shared between actors and ramping-up the gender-bending comic mayhem.
It all played well in the first act, but audiences expect a short and tidy second act. Instead, Grimm served up reheated leftovers from the first act — the same bits with diminishing laughter. It became painfully clear that the show meant to literally touch all 209 Grimm tales — it was just too much.
Standouts Meggan Hyde and Jo-Jo Hurford-Reynolds were on-stage narrators, trading salty barbs with a curiously untold backstory. They shined as storytellers but also actors portraying witch, sorceress, bungling king and dwarf. Newcomer Tristyn Park is a tiny dynamo of talent; from naive princess to sultry siren, all well-memorized in word and movement. Corrina Briggs, a regular with the local improv group Stick Horses and Pants, flexed her improvisational muscle with coy pranks and a powerhouse delivery.
The show’s final bit featured impressive agility from Benjamin Rosko who played five roles: prince, evil stepmother, Cinderella and both ugly stepsisters — but the act went stale after a few rounds. Both Rosko and the audience seemed to be running on fumes as the 20-minute marathon finally saw its finish line.
Well-done but overdone, less would have been more in this cleverly conceived fairy-tale compilation.