Photo by Nicole F. Anderson
Stage Center opened Episode 26 in NEIU’s auditorium directed by Dan Wirth on March 1, 2018. Episode 26 was written by Howard Korder and first shown on stage in New York City in 1985. The play is a combination between science fiction and comedy and consists of nine actors playing 21 different characters.
From the interesting terrestrial costumes and set, it was clear that hard work was put into the production. However, the supporting characters were the true stars of the show, specifically actors Becca Peterson, Timothy Leichty and Ian Williams.
Peterson played several characters such as Dave, Guard from the Lost Asteroid, Etherscope Operator, Scribe and Guard. Her silliest and best played character was Dave. This sweet and sensitive character gave composition of what was happening in the story while getting several laughs from the audience.
Leichty played Zugdish and Zargo Phildrooni. His character Zugdish was the funniest character in the whole show. Simple, one-punch liners with comedic buttons later on really helped the laughs. For example, there are a couple times where Zugdish said, “chow time” before trying to consume one of the characters and later in the play he put on a bib that said, “chow time.”
Williams’ characters were Amo, Mr. Gatecrasher, Photographer, Guard and voice of Komo. All of which he played impressively well. Williams’ passion for theatre bursted at the seams on stage. His funniest character was the
Other supporting characters were Taylor Stevens who played Wallaneeba and female servant and Jill Matel, who played Garga, Wild-eyed woman, worker and announcer.
The main characters were Buzz Gatecrasher, played by Brian Rogers, Hillen Dale, played by Emily Rachel Hosman and Emporor Vaknor, played by Marcin “Marty” Witkowski. Buzz and Hillen were the story’s blonde duo with contrasting characters. Buzz’s character was a gaslighting, selfish narcissist. Hillen’s character was naïve but had moments of independence. Emporer Vaknor’s character was inherently funny and ridiculous.
Buzz, Hillen and Dr. Art Deco end up on Planet Darvon which is ruled by Vaknor who takes them hostage. With the help of the other characters in the play, Vaknor is defeated and the main characters can breathe a sigh of relief. The show ended with Matel announcing to the audience to: “tune in next week for episode 27.”