2/14/2014 4:42 PM
Just finished directing this production for our local theater. The show was a huge success. We staged it in January/February and sold mugs with chocolate at our Christmas show to advertise and tied in local restaurants to play up the Valentines Day angle with coupons for desserts. The play has to be seen for what it is - a thrill ride - there is no redeeming value, just fun. The characters are stereotypes but that's where the actors can get in there and find what their true purposes are. Requires a cast with good time lots of trust to really go for it - the more serious they are with their silliness the more the audience will react. Kids enjoyed it even though there were a few jokes that went over their head - would say PG rating is fine.
2/11/2014 9:27 AM
I've read worse plays. But not many.
Death by Chocolate is the worst type of play - a semi-meta, comedic deconstruction that fails at both it's humor and it's deconstruction. With shallow, one note characters like the effeminate "Dick Simmering" (do you get it? He's gay and that's the joke!) and Dyslexia... who has no discernible character traits and seems to exist entirely so people can mispronounce her (completely unexplained) name, the play has little comedic value in reading or playing. Jokes are telegraphed from miles away, or they fall flat, or they're pathetic attempts to, uh, pay homage (?) to the Marx brothers - those are your options; enjoy (or don't).
Problems compound when the author character arrives and begins to explain to the audience precisely how the remaining action of the story will play out. This would have been interesting if there had been some sort of comedic subversion or clever deconstructions but, no, events play out exactly as he tells us they will. This renders a least half of the play completely pointless and boring, with very little for the audience to experience. Toss in a completely predictable and trite twist ending, and you've got a play that is nothing but pointless: from the first, Groucho aping gags to the last, needlessly dark moment.
I hated it, is what I'm saying.
11/21/2013 12:15 PM
The play is actually quite funny, but I was wrong to assume that we could make a few simple modifications to make it appropriate for high school performance. It should not be billed as such.