A popular Fringe show from about 3 seasons ago, “Drunks” by Pete Bakely returns to the KC stage, this time in the Musical Theater Heritage small theaters for a limited run through March 31.
“Last seen in the 2014 KC Fringe Festival, Drunks is an over-the-top play about the lengths people go to achieve success,” Kevin King of Whim Productions, said. “An actress desperate for relevancy, an actor aching for an Oscar, and a screenwriter who just wants respect are sequestered in a hotel room until they agree on script changes for the film they’re making. To complicate matters, the actors have smuggled in huge amounts of booze and coke.
“Drunks features Rebecca Ralstin, as the actress fighting for legitimacy; Kyle Dyck, as the actor seeking gold; Curtis Smith, as the beleaguered screenwriter; and Emma Carter, as the precocious producer with rabid ambition. Katie Gilchrist helms the new production. Stage management is provided by Megan Kroeger.”
The show is typical, zany Pete Bakely on the loose. The language is strong, funny, and the comedy drives the show. His characters are always animated and beyond the norm. The situations spin out of control–fast and furiously. Where most playwrights would stop with a gag is merely a starting point for Bakely’s humor.
“Drunks” added about 15 minutes of new material, mostly in the second act, according to Bakely. He wanted the actress to have a more rounded character and better explain her purpose in the screwball comedy.
Those who know Bakely’s style will catch on with the curtain speech about turning off cell phones. Those that are virgin to Bakely’s work, the shock value begins as the lights dim. Be prepared for a fun roller-coaster ride as the story unfolds.
The story line is at times lost in the comedy bits. The story focuses on the driving needs of the four characters. The producer has ambition to create a successful movie. The screen-writer wants professional acceptance, The actor wants a legitimate acting Oscar to prove himself. The actress wants to transition into more adult roles that recognize her acting ability. They all have their needs and their ambition drives them.
“Drunks” provides escape from whatever is ongoing in your life. Take time out to see this show if you like slapstick comedy and are not easily offended by adult language, adult beverages, and recreational drug usage…Oh, yes, and brief nudity.
FYI: Don’t wait until New Theater does this or you could be waiting…forever. It’s not that kind of show. “Drunks” is pure fun and games.
Tags: Whim Productions, “Drunks”, Pete Bakely, Kansas City Performing Arts, Kansas City theater, Kansas City Arts & Entertainment, Comedy