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Theatre Review: MadLab’s 2012 Theatre Roulette Opening

 Halie Williams Theatre Review: MadLab’s 2012 Theatre Roulette Opening
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MadLab has officially opened their 13th annual Theatre Roulette, Columbus’ longest running shorts festival that presents 12 plays over three nights, Thursdays – Saturdays through May 3 – May 26, and I attending opening night on Thursday.

Snake Eyes, The first night of the plays, began with “The Waiting Room,” written by Stephen Shapiro and directed by Jim Azelvandre. David Thonnings plays Peter, a damaged divorcee who seeks the help of psychiatrist, Wesley, played by Wray Withers, who reaches to him in an unorthodox way. Towards the beginning of the short play, Withers plays the part of a fellow patient and I’m sure it can’t be easy to stay in character as an OCD concerned “crazy” person, but she pulls it off well. Thonnings creates an emotional tie to the character that is extremely believable. Although the longest of the plays showed throughout the night, it’s a concrete story line.

“Ten Minutes In The Orchard with Uncle Vanya’s Sister and Her Seagull,” written by Gary Dooley and directed by Jenn Youngblood, was a sort of, nontraditional tale. Michelle Batt plays an actress performing as Russian royalty, Madame Arkadina. Jeff Potts plays an actor playing her servant, Flucka, and Jason Sudy plays an actor performing as her doctor. Each character scrambles off, on, and around the set to change clothes and continually adapt to another role. The cluttered feeling of this play delivers quite a few laughs.

The next short play, “The Peach,” was written by Alex Dremann and directed by Andy Batt. David Thonnings plays Jake, a noncomplex man who really likes pie, oh and killing things. Chris Lane plays Karwacki, a fellow coworker who soon finds out that Jake will kill anyone he’s told to. I give Lane credit for his convincing role and the two certainly work well together, but Thonnings is brilliant as the simple-minded character and makes the act with his contagious laughter.

The last show of the night, “DateNAV,” written by Gary Dooley and directed by Aran Carr, was a great end to the night and did not disappoint. Graham, played by Josh Kessler is on a date with Wendy, played by Audrey Rush, that isn’t exactly going well when he decides to use an earpiece technology to lead him through it. However, Wendy has her own way of getting rid of him. Kessler and Rush both capture each side of an unsatisfactory date in this well-written play.

The first night of MadLab’s Theatre Roulette proved to be a success and I’m sure the next shows will follow that formula.

MadLab continues Theatre Roulette 2012, at 8:00 p.m., May 3th-May 26th, Thursday – Saturdays at 227 N. 3rd St. Columbus. Tickets cost $12, $10 Students/Seniors, $8 Members.

More info can be found online at www.madlab.net.

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