BWW Review: DELUSIONS OF POWER at Carousel Theatre Of Indianola: Not Your Typical Political Comedy
Have you ever thought what would happen if a sitting President was unfit to serve in the White House? You probably just had an instant reaction to the questions based on your thoughts on our current administration. This review is not going to be a commentary on this or any other administration, but about Carousel Theatre of Indianola's current production of "Delusions of Power" which opened on November 10. This fun comedy is not your everyday political comedy that satirizes current events, it takes the idea of a rarely evoked amendment and asks what could happen if it were to be used.
Delusions of Power is about fictional president Melinda LaFollette who is getting ready to temporarily step down due to requiring a gallbladder surgery. Before she steps down she finds out her son had hallucinogenic drugs hidden in a bottle of Tylenol. After discussing the pills with him, she leaves the bottle of pills in her desk drawer. When Vice President Oswald Decatur comes in to take over with a headache, he accidentally takes two of these pills thinking they were Tylenol. This leaves Chief of Staff Marcus and Communications Director Barbara to decide if they want to cover this up or if they let the current Speaker of the House know they need to step into the role of President? The pills should wear off after 4 hours, what's the worst that could happen?
Set designer Jim Lindsley does an excellent job of bringing his version of the oval office to the stage. While it isn't a replicate, it has pieces that remind us of the oval office. One of the ways he does this is with the flooring being used for the stage. What was new for Carousel with this set, was the added flooring. Carousel has not to my knowledge done a show where they have done something unique with the floor of the stage, so it was one of the first things I noticed walking into the room the show is being performed in.
One of the exciting this about this show is Carousel is taking a risk and producing a brand new work. "Delusions of Power" is written by local playwright David Dubczak. This is his first full-length production that is being produced. David is not only the playwright for this show, but he is also the director for the show, and in the last few weeks has taken on a role in the show. He has put his heart and soul into this production, and it is evident by his performance, and by the fun, the cast was having on stage.
A new script isn't the only thing new to Carousel with this show. Four cast members are making their Carousel debuts. Each of them is part of what makes this show so entertaining to watch. The first is Rico Miller as Travis, son of the president. There is an awkwardness to his character that lets the audience in on the absurdity of his character hallucinogenic pills and the real reason why.
Then there is Laura Dubczak whose soft spoke voice is a great foil to her character's brashness. Her character becomes a crucial part of the show unexpectedly when she learns the truth about one of the characters. In my opinion, you find out her character isn't as assertive as she may have previously appeared.
Bryce Palm is also making his Carousel Debut in the role of adviser Ricard von Harban. He does an amazing job of making the audience cringe with how smarmy his character is. While there may not be a villain in the show, his portrayal brings his character very close. Palm brilliantly brings to life how far a person will go to move forward in the world.
Finally, making her debut in the role of communications advisor Barbra is Melissa Powell. She brings some of the best reactions of the night. The look on her face when she realized what is going on with the vice president is one of my favorite moments of the night. Her face said so many things without using a single word. Her character is a fun foil to Ricard von Harban as she slowly shows how far she is willing to go, but instead of doing for herself, she does it to help the people she cares about.
The cast and crew do a great job of bringing this new work to life on stage. While I president's first term maybe 4 years, this first run of the show is only running 4 days, through November 10. Performances of "Delusions of Power" are being held and at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Innovations in Indianola. To find out more visit https://www.carouseltheatre.org/delusions-of-power
Review written by DC Felton
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