Tour de force performances by Matthew Floyd Miller and Jamie Torcellini in Charles Ludlumn’s ridiculously funny “The Mystery of Irma Vep” makes Falcon Theatre’s current production a must see gothic, campy romp. Under Jenny Sullivan’s deft and zany direction these actors play a total of eight distinct roles with lighting-quick costume changes throughout the two-act comedy.
Mashing up genres (horror movies, classic literature, Victorian melodrama) it all starts on a dark and stormy night (kudos to Sound Designer Davie Beaudry and Scenic and Lighting Designer Thomas S. Giamario) when Lord Edgar and his wife, Lady Enid, arrive at their haunted estate. What follows is a cavalcade of colorful characters: vampires, werewolves, mummies and damsels in distress. And there is actually an intricate plot, too.
Remarkable physicality displayed by the talented actors as they shift seamlessly from character to character within a scene is delightful. Torcellini’s many transformations, including into a werewolf and a surprisingly lithe dancing Egyptian mummy are priceless. Miller’s Matron Jane seems to float and glide across the floor and slips on the wet “gift” left behind the sofa by the werewolf are hilarious and reminiscent of John Cleese. These are only a few examples of many memorable moments.
Backstage and sometimes onstage crew members were an integral part of the action. Costumes by Alex Jaeger capture the absurd spirit perfectly.
This uproariously funny play, ideal for Halloween and beyond, is meant to be seen because the written word cannot capture what treats transpire on stage, live and in person. So go see it, you’ll be glad you did!
Be sure to read the program thoroughly and pay attention to the eclectic choice of music before, after and throughout the show. Big fun!
“The Mystery of Irma Vep” performs Wednesday through Sunday through November 17, 2013. Tickets are previews $29.50 – $32.00, weekdays (Wed/Thurs) $34.50 – $37.00, opening night $52.00 – $57.00 and weekends (Fri/Sat/Sun) $39.50 – $42.00 and student rate (valid student ID) $27.00. Call 818-955-8101 or visit www.FalconTheatre.com.
The Falcon Theatre is located at 4252 Riverside Dr. in Burbank.