Inside Cherry Pitz is a daring, delightful, and delectable one-woman quixotic adventure. This madcap romp follows the dizzying adventures of Cherry Pitz, a long-time resident of Nowheresville, a small Midwestern town scenically located near the local toxic-waste dump. All goes well for this daughter of a small-town drag queen until the fateful day when Cherry accidentally pushes her retarded boyfriend, Johnny Angel, into a pool of radioactive liquid. Heartbreak ensues as Johnny Angel is mercilessly transformed into a Superhero and abandons his lady-love to rid the world of evil.
Not knowing what to do with herself, Cherry decides to do what all Midwestern toxic-waste-dump-dwellers do -- become an actress. So she packs her bags and moves to Tinseltown, where she runs into all sorts of problematic occurrences, not the least of which is escaping lifetime internment at a brothel and becoming a world-famous Elvis impersonator.
This show was brilliantly written by Zack Stratis and Cyndi Freeman. Their unique wit and absurdist twists of fancy led the audience on an exuberant journey that, at the same time, echoed with deeper meaning.
Freeman’s scintillating, stimulating, and sexy presence filled the theatre with a tingling and tangible energy. She shape-shifted effortlessly from character to character and emerged as a new entity every 2.5 minutes. Also adding to the fun was Cheryl King’s subtle directing.
There were many fun touches of audience involvement throughout. Set, costumes, sound design, and lights were all intelligent and unobtrusive. The onstage handling of the costumes was adept. With a simple onstage switch of a wig, scarf, or jacket, Freeman was able to create myriads of effects and characters. Likewise, the set was minimal but versatile, the bulk of it consisting of movable black cubes. Music also added to the charged atmosphere, with musical director Hector Coris deftly plinking out sound cues and songs in well-timed and perky rhythm. And, considering the limited Festival lighting plot, Ellen Rosenberg's lighting design provided a variety of moods and effects.
All in all, Inside Cherry Pitz is a delightful one-woman frolic that not only entertained, but also left the audience spiritually uplifted and a wee bit wiser.
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