ADVERTISING AT CURTAINUP
Short Term Listings
BOOKS and CDs
LETTERS TO EDITOR
A CurtainUp Review
Ned (the perfectly cast Anthony Manna) is a computer nerd who seldom leaves his apartment and survives on the money he extorts through computer hacking. His hacking endeavors have made him the scourge of Asian pornography. A certain Vietnamese gangster can either pay Ned $10,000 or have him killed.
Ned has two relationships. The primary one is with his computer, Gabriella (Ali Perlwitz), a possessive and needy female who constantly lures Ned back to her keyboard with promises of new games and better porn.
Next in importance in Ned’s life is his father (Bob Austin McDonald), an old man who suffers from dementia and believes he is a famous black musician named Mangella St. James. Ned has kidnapped his father from a hospital and tied him into a wheelchair so that he can pump him full of drugs in an attempt to resuscitate his fading memory. You see, Ned needs his father to help him connect to his dead mother, a woman Mangella abandoned many years before.
At last Ned takes pity on his father and hires a prostitute named Lilly (Hannah Wilson) to fulfill his flagging needs. Although Lilly is not exactly the “beautiful black woman with a giant backside” that Mangella has requested, he makes do.
As it turns out, Lilly has more on her mind than merely pleasing old men. She has an agenda, and after taking care of Mangella (in her own way), she turns to Ned for assistance. Unfortunately, Ned is not compliant and Gabriella is thrown into a fit of jealousy.
Such a bizarre plot needs imaginative direction, and Joe Jung is up to the job. With the help of a really fine cast and creative crew, he takes the audience on a fantastic adventure into unchartered territories. The result is absurd, funny and at times strangely human.
There are a few times during the play when it’s possible to lose the thread of the action, especially for those not familiar with science fiction and gaming culture. But it doesn’t take long before the excellent writing, direction and acting once again have you back into the loop.
Part cyber-thriller, part farce, Mangella seems to be what we might get if Alfred Hitchcock and the Marx brothers had lived in the 21st century. It’s too bad they didn’t, but it’s a good thing Ferrigni, Jung et. al. do.
Anything Goes Cast Recording
Our review of the show
Book of Mormon -CD
Our review of the show
Slings & Arrows-the complete set
You don't have to be a Shakespeare aficionado to love all 21 episodes of this hilarious and moving Canadian TV series about a fictional Shakespeare Company