On Saturday night I attended a showing of a new play presented by Twin Cities-based Fearless Comedy Productions called Jenny Bandage and the Unpronounceable A.K.R.O.N.Y.M. It was very silly. There were NERF guns, over-the-top loud mad scientist laughs and groan-inducing jokes.
Tim Wick, local writer and entertainer, has created a show that calls out bad science and bemoans the harsh realities of doing “good” science: mingling with donors, writing grants and flying coach. The show is a send up of traditional spy movies such as James Bond – but think more along the lines of Spy Hard. There is one part where a waiter asks Scientist Spy Jenny Bandage if she’d like her margarita “shaken or stirred,” to which she scoffs and replies, “Why would I care?”
Anti-vax, homeopathy, fossils, cosmology, anthropogenic climate change are all mentioned to one degree or another. Jenny Bandage calls out a mad scientist for not understanding the difference between a scientific “theory” and an unsupported supposition. There is homeopathic beer.
And there is real beer! The play is being held at the Black Forest Inn Event Center in South Minneapolis, a restaurant serving German food and…beer. This really is community theater at its finest. The audience sits in a large room decorated in German-style painting. The props require the audience to use their imagination (the “Vespas” – oh my!) and the music and sound effects – while crafted with imagination and well-suited to the show in every moment – were delivered by a single musician on an electric keyboard near the front of the stage. But it all works so well with the theme of the play itself.
I had the honor of being a beta-reader for the script, and I loved the way the words I had previewed came to life on the stage.
I very much enjoyed the performance of Haley Sisler as the eager – the over-eager – intern and agent-in-training Jenny Plato. Dawn Krosnowski transitioned back and forth between over-serious top-of-her field scientist and engaged and determined super spy with ease. Matt Alex and Lauren Haven were delightful as ensemble characters, each playing multiple roles to advance the story. Jonathan Gershberg provided many additional laughs as Travis Holcomb, minion to Professor A.K.R.O.N.Y.M (the Hubby is still mimicking his mad scientist minion laugh). John Kunick played the frazzled and diabolical Professor A.K.R.O.N.Y.M. in a wonderfully entertaining manner that had hints of Gru from Despicable Me, although I found Kunick’s giant presence and voice overwhelming in the small theater space.
Jenny Bandage has just two shows left, concluding with this Saturday’s performance. You can buy tickets online or at the door of the Black Forest Inn Event Center.
If you will find yourself in the Twin Cities this Friday or Saturday, consider giving Jenny Bandage and the Unpronounceable A.K.R.O.N.Y.M. a whirl!