Todd Ziegler's adaptation was witty, but I think the humor would have packed more of a power comedic punch if it were shorter, removing the lulls between power puns. While some of it was gut busting hilarious, a lot of it seemed to try too hard. Near the end, the actress playing Trinity freaks out and goes on a rant about false saviors, killing the light heartedness built up throughout the show. Her monologue poses a very interesting viewpoint, showing a deeper side to Ziegler, but it seems to kind of come out of nowhere. It might have made more sense coming from the production assistant who had been questioning the directors and script throughout the play.
There is a LOT of fighting between cast and directors. It increases to the point that I felt a little stressed out by it. Parody is supposed to be exaggerated, but it feels a little like this production was trying to parody too many things at once, including previous Wachowski films and one of their private lives, which also loses some audience members who don't get it.
Those things aside, this show is just so funny. There are some funny internet meme references, pop songs thrown in at appropriate times, and moments of sheer comic genius. Some of the humor is so clever, I wanted to yell "HA! with excessive volume. I laughed pretty regularly throughout the entire play despite the lulls. The dialog delivered a lot of wit, but the physical humor is what makes this play.That brings me to the fight scenes.Tony Smith did an amazing job! His fight scene choreography, coupled with the cast's ability to deliver it, is one of the coolest things I've seen at Alley Theater.
I wish I had more room to elaborate on the best moments from each cast member, but I will just say that they are all strong and each had shining moments of hilarity. I was really impressed that all of them had the strength to pull lead roles.
If you are a fan of the Matrix movies or have at least seen them, I think you'll find this to be a fun and unique evening that you'll be talking about for a while. Lucas fans beware: There was a lot of Lucas hatin' going on (George Lucas) despite the upcoming Star Wars: The Original Trilogy in Under 60 Minutes production at the theater. If you don't mind a long night, Matrix Live! (a parody) is worth the ticket price of $18 or $20. That's what you paid to see one of the movies with snacks, and you get a parody of all three with some behind the scenes thrown in. Remaining shows are December 8,9, 10. 15, 16, 17 at 7:30 p.m.
This is one of the funniest scenes: The Wachowski Brothers both want to play the same role and race through the lines in perfect unison.
Photos by Joe Mays.