BWW Reviews: FOLLOW THE LEADER is Rapturously Riveting
In today's obsessed with being obsessed society, it is a wonder why the "cult" hasn't been thrown around more. The obvious cult-prit would be a certain "church" with many a celebrity follower but with high profile media dominating forces like Kim Kardashian, The cast of Jersey Shore, and Tea-Parties permeating our lingo, and general imaginations, a clever little bill like "Follow The Leader," playing at Triskelion Arts seems ripe of relevance.
Panicked Productions's "Follow The Leader" is made up of 6 short plays inspired by the concept of a cult. This is followed through with literal examples as well as overall themes of conformity, obsession, and letting go.
Eli Sands's "Second Life" mocks the world of Internet role-playing and the yearning for making a real connection in an artificial reality.
Glenn De Kler's internalized "What's On My Mind" paints a portrait of an early millennium teen's troubles through the lens of his subconscious mind and the icons and demons that inhabit it.
Director Rob Egginton's own "Replacing the Hendersons" follows a twisted suburban couple that just can't seem to get over the loss of their old neighbors, leaving not-so-great consequences for the new ones.
The relationship of two sisters is broken down through a dehumanizing cult in the startling "Inside," also by De Kler.
In Egginton's "Fat Jesus," a training session turns into a reveal of guilt and forgiveness.
In Erin Austin's "Gymnastics Class," the most physical of the pieces, a woman is pitted against her past love of gymnastics and must face it by executing the very routines she abandoned. Chie Morita provided the fight choreography executed to uproarious results.
The show closes with Sands's "Across New Universe," which turns the "drink the Kool-Aid" ritual into a quirky romance spanning the elements.
The ensemble gives great performances as the many characters. One standout, Kirsten Benjamin, plays a lot of the icy/ fierce characters with unwavering deadpan and spot on timing. Playing the dorky romantic leads in the opening and closing play by Eli Sands, Jacob Mondry was likeable and hilarious.
Some of Taylor Steel's amusing costumes included a bikini clad game avatar adorned with the show's uniform Converse sneakers, and the simple element sign undershirts.
In addition to playing multiple characters, double duties were also skillfully carried out with the acting, directing, lighting design, movement, and other aspects. The dynamic team makes "Follow the Leader" a quirkily engaging night of theatre with dark context.
FOLLOW THE LEADER will run thru February 25th at Triskelion Arts in Williamsburg (118 North 11th Street, Brooklyn, NY) with 8:30pm performances Thursday-Saturday. Tickets, priced at $18, can be purchased online at www.PanickedProductions.com or by phone at 866-811-4111. For more information on FOLLOW THE LEADER, visit www.PanickedProductions.com.