CAT-A-STROPHE (Fail Better): 2016 Fringe review 1


Fallacies and facts concerning male-female relations are explicitly explored within a farcical framework, featuring five terrific, high energy actors, assorted sized dildos, frequent scene changes, and song in Yoel Wulfhart’s CAT A STROPHE, directed by Kevin Fennell. If this seems disturbing, that’s because it is. Both sides of the sexual fence are examined, at length, (plan on three hours, including intermission and a peak at the art on exhibit in the next room), yet the play’s momentum does not flag. It is maintained by comedy, kinetic acting, marvelous music (Nik Geerken), and cool, creative choreography (Sammy Antonio Reynes), innovative lighting (Rebecca Brissette, Emma MacDonald) and frequent scene changes upon a well executed set. The characters are fully clothed, only their thoughts and primal desires are layed bare, revealing some commonly uncomfortable zones of the human psyche from the somewhat safe region of the stage. Euphemistic terms are employed, but mostly dropped in Act II.  

Doug Chashell plays “Klutzki” with a Rick Moranis like mania, infusing the audience with his animation, while Samantha Solar portrays “Pussika” with a “poor me” panache.  Taiwo Sokan endows her character, the highly sought after “Beaver”, with grace and humor, and “Peckerstein” is well projected by Josh Kirwin, whose facial expressions speak volumes. William McHattie serves his character “CAPPuccino” with a wonderful wry wit. If you are daring enough to experience this show, there is beer, wine and water available for purchase, which may be a good idea for some…

[Fail Better Productions at Papermill Theater, 2825 Ormes Street] August 26-September 25, 2016;;


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About the author

Lisa Panzer

Lisa Panzer has worked for many years in theater not only as an actor, but as a director, dramaturg, technical director, lighting designer, stage crew, and roustabout. A few of her favorite past theatrical roles include: Liz Imbrie in Philadelphia Story, Maria in Lend Me a Tenor, Mrs. Tarpey in Spreading the News, Mollie Ralston in Mousetrap, Trinculo in The Tempest, Bernice Roth in Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 and Felicia Dantine in I Hate Hamlet. In addition to theatrical endeavors, Mz. Panzer has also worked as a background performer in television’s Cold Case, Invincible, The Happening, several television commercials, and has played various roles in independent films including Project 21 productions and other commercial acting venues. (See for additonal information).