By Bob Evans
The KC Fringe, history now, produced some wickedly talented entries and cosmic performances by actors–especially the politically-charged “The Foreplay: The Exploration of the Birth of Our Nation” in the Musical Theater Heritage complex in Crown Center.
The comedic piece, written by Michael Knight, originated in 2016 and undergoes updates and new jokes as times change. Knight said a daily event might encourage him to rewrite a line or joke to keep the piece fresh and politically on target. What genius writing to create a piece that can change so comically and up to the minute (or day). And, to do this, his duo of co-stars make the piece work.
For the Fringe, “The Foreplay” drew large crowds to the MTH 2 theater space and claimed Best of Venue in Knight’s first attempt at KC Fringe. The play centers on the writing of the Bill of Rights and the first 10 amendments to The Constitution. Of course, since the actual transcript of the penning of the rules was never recorded, Knight took free literary license in scripting his own supposed dialogue–and with much adult language.
Joining together to create this semi-accurate-recreation of the events the comedy team responsible for this screeching event are: Adam DelMedico as Thomas Jefferson, Zachrey York as James Madison, and Michael Knight as George Mason. Another intricate piece of the cast remains off-stage for the entirely–a screaming eagle. Without the eagle, simply no closure.
The dialogue is fast, crisp, biting, and adult-rated. The comedy works with the chemistry and trust of the cast member who have performed together over the last 10 years. Being such, they trust each other and know the piece so well that any dropped line would not be noticeable to an audience.
According to KC Fringe: “‘The Foreplay: The Exploration of the Birth of Our Nation,” was written by Michael Knight (Orlando, Florida). When building a new, baby country, what decisions must be made? Join American Forefathers Thomas Jefferson, James Madison
and George Mason as they hilariously create the USA’s Bill of Rights. Using modern language and witty comparisons to today’s most pressing issues, ‘The Foreplay’ wisecracks its way through the messy birth of the country we know and love, for better or worse. Packed with hysterical historical inaccuracy, this play will give you a whole new perspective on the first 10 Amendments.”
An hour with “The Foreplay” and the talented actors who speak their comedic lines with the most sincerity makes the play a joy to watch. The show is sharp, funny, crisp, and original. I see an Act II just screaming to be written and performed as the spirits of these men look at what has happened to their original document, the changes (for good or bad) and the new questions and attacks that arise.
The play entertains and if ever remounted in the KC Metro, do not hesitate to line up and purchase tickets. Several Fringe viewers said the show was so funny they planned to see it again. What better publicity can a play receive than viewers ready to lineup for a second helping.
The Best of Venue award for MTH 2 deserves another Kansas City run.
Tags: KC Fringe Festival, Kansas City Theater, Kansas City Performing Arts, Kansas City Arts & Entertainment, The Foreplay: The Exploration of the Birth of Our Nation”, MTH 2, Musical Theater Heritage Stage 2