“Devil Boys From Beyond” Deliciously Campy
From the fearless company who brought Richmond Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, Richmond Triangle Players spare no shame in bringing us New York’s latest extract: Devils Boys From Beyond. Parodying 1950s gender roles, director James Alexander Bond’s drag spoof is a tour de farce not to be missed.
The satire follows the shenanigans of reporter Matilda van Buren and her nemesis Lucinda Marsh as they make a mad dash to uncover the story of an alleged alien invasion. It’s a guilty pleasure to watch this sci-fi comedy unfold as the ensemble scurries amidst the toxic and salacious backwaters of Florida. But, gender conformists beware: Most characters are in drag from start to finish.
If you like to see boys in bikinis, Kevin Cisek and Trey Harrison prove to be more than just appetizing eye candy. These smooth bodied twinks play an alien duo from Plutopia who while visiting Florida manage to pick up a pair of horny old ladies as lovers.
Thomas Cunningham boldly finds his own voice as the scheming Lucinda Marsh. And boy does he have a great pair of legs too in his silk nighty! Bill Brock plays Gilbert Wiatt and is sharp as ever as Matilda’s editor at The Bugle. Ryan Bechard is a hopeless alcoholic as Gregory Graham whose acting picks up after an extraterrestrial invasion of anal probes and nipple clamps. Lastly, as the show develops you’ll forget there’s not a single female actor casted because Tommy Callan is so convincing in his role as the Nancy Drew like reporter Matilda van Buren it’s pleasingly surreal.
Act I ends on a high note with a musical number on the propulsive verge of vaudeville with the nimble assistance of vocal coach Penny Mass.
Act II moves quickly but not at the expense of its succulence and spoofery. Timothy Goad as Florence Wexler and Steve Moore as Dottie Primrose make a HIGH-larious twosome of raunchy old dames. They bicker, bitch slap and not to mention are pregnant with alien spermatozoa!
Callan’s second act costume change and Goad’s flamboyant and shimmering space suit expose costume design team Rebecca Cairns’ (recent credit includes Something Intangible now playing at Firehouse Theater Project) and Ann Hoskins’ creative ingenuity. There’s no cheap skating the overplayed drag conventions here, folks, not at least while Mark Souza’s riotous wig design caresses Goad’s noodle. The second act puts you in a gripping trance, and the cohesion of this boisterous ensemble is pulsating until the very end.
Not everything is frollicks and rollicks though in this wacky sci-fi mystery turned love story. Callan trips over one too many lines, and Goad’s opening monologue doesn’t do justice to the show’s arousing hilarity. But, it’s hard to even care about imperfections when you’re rolling in your chair over this delicious and steamy cabaret of fun.
John Knapp and Daniel Jason’s funny props provide comedic release during scene changes, and B.T. Whitehill’s backdrop glitters luminously in pink and sparkles.
After the Acts of Faith Festival, it was sublime to attend a production that let my mind rest and my laughter break loose. But while the show’s no mental exercise, there are a handful of social sound bites to please the more cerebral-oriented. James Alexander Bond manages to impregnate his lip-smacking tasteless campfest with non-stop humorous social irreverence. Outperforming this production’s hype in every gaudy dimension possible, Bond’s pageantry of goofy caricatures entangled in gimmicky comedy is worth the price of admission.
“Devil Boys From Beyond” runs through April 23, 2011 at Richmond Triangle Players. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit http://www.richmondtriangleplayers.com
Matthew Miller is the former arts editor and chief theater critic for GAYRVA.com. A Chicago native, he holds a B.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He currently resides in Richmond, VA and is a member of the Richmond Theatre Critics Circle. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Matthew Miller on Twitter twitter.com/matthewkmiller
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