Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

It came from the basement

After years and years of being held captive in Downstage Lisner, Ordinary Theatre has escaped. For the first time, the group will perform in the Dorothy Betts Theatre.

“It feels so good to be free,” director Zit Poppin said. “They kept us down there – in that small musty room with uncomfortable chairs and horrible lighting. It’s no wonder hardly anyone came to see our shows.”

For the debut on the mainstage, Ordinary Theatre wanted to stick with its usual type of show – confusing the hell out of the audience – but add some extra pizzazz to spice up the show.

“We like to challenge the audience,” Poppin said. “Members of Ordinary Theatre understand it perfectly, but we know we’re of a higher intellectual capacity than most of GW. This show will differ from our usual ones because it will be entertaining too.”

The play is an artsy piece about a man who is actually a woman. Everyone thinks he’s a man and he refers to himself as Mike, but that’s just a ploy to fool the audience. Then when you finally think Mike is actually Michelle, you find out some other twist so by the end of the play you don’t have a clue as to what Mike/Michelle is. With regards to the plot, it’s another typical Ordinary Theatre show.

The cast, however, does not merely act. They dance and sing as well. Although the dance pieces and songs don’t fit into the show, they break the monotony of watching actors performing the puzzling script. The musical numbers provide a few laughs, which is something most Ordinary Theatre performances lack.

“We just let it all hang out for this show,” Poppin said. “I told the cast that if they felt like singing or dancing, then they should just go for it and it worked.”

There are some bonuses to having Ordinary Theatre perform on the Dorothy Betts stage. The comfortable chairs and low house lighting are a plus. Instead of sitting face to face with cast members, you almost become invisible sitting in the rows of empty chairs. At the end of the show, you still have a headache but at least your butt doesn’t hurt thanks to the plush seats.

Another advantage to the new location is the refreshments. With J Street right out door, you can grab a quick bite from Burger King or Viva Java during the intermission or even during the play. It doesn’t matter if you miss a scene or two.

Overall, the actors do a good job in their roles, although no one really knows what those roles are. The plot is befuddling but may be worthwhile if you can understand. The musical scenes are a nice surprise, but the performers tend to dance like Elaine from “Seinfeld” and seem to be tone deaf. Most likely, however, you’ll sit through the show wondering what the hell is going on and why that man you thought was a woman is a man but really not.

At least the chairs are comfy.

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