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August 21, 2017
Review: ‘All Of My Blood’ at the Corkscrew Theater Festival

 

Photo credit: Robert Norman

The Corkscrew Theater Festival’s supernatural play All of My Blood, written by the talented Robert Zander Norman, is a fast-paced black comedy with fine dialogue and quirky upbeat comic vignettes.

Taylor, a loquacious and lovely young woman, is having communication issues with her friends Rachael and Richard and her garrulous fiancé Davis, and she leaves their company on a nighttime stroll soon after her first few confused and frustrating attempts at enjoying the company of her friends to speak directly to the moon. What she reveals during her moonlit soliloquy is that while on a private retreat, she’s been bitten by a large animal (presumably a wolf) and has since developed a taste for human flesh.

Norman’s dialogue is witty and fresh and his constant re-examination of every nuance of each character’s thoughts helps the comic energy stay afloat throughout the 90-minute play. As Taylor, Laura Wilson displays fine comic chops and a nicely poignant moment or two along with a rapacious ability to scare her loved ones with the truth of her circumstances. Her fiancé is winningly played by Stephen Elrod, whose constant admission of his innermost thoughts and concerns brought forth the strongest comedy of the evening. Rachael and Richard, Taylor’s “frenemies,” are played broadly and offer an excellent counterpoint to the evening’s proceedings. Rachael is played with perky diligence by the wonderful Caitlin Zoz, and her boyfriend Richard is played with comedic frat-bro nonchalance by Robert Peterpaul. The four young actors work beautifully together to create a comic tableaux that’s reminiscent of our best sitcom teams, all the while working with lightning quick repartee.

Lovely direction by Taylor Haven Holt kept the evening moving along, fun and witty. What I most enjoyed was that her direction didn’t allow the play itself to be taken too seriously. Black comedies can be tricky to pull off, but on the night I attended the show, the audience was thoroughly engaged. Costumes, sets, lighting were all effectively done and all of these elements moved the story along with deft and nimble work.

So cast your runes and lope on down to the Corkscrew Theater Festival before the spell is broken to see All of My Blood (among other offerings).

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Q&A: Robert Zander Norman on ‘All Of My Blood’ at the Corkscrew Theater Festival

By Hanna Oldsman

In a FringeNYC-less summer, other theater festivals promoting the work of up-and-coming artists are taking the lead, including the Ice Factory Festival at New Ohio, Broadway Bound Theatre Festival at the Theater at the 14th St. Y, and the UNFringed Festival at the Secret Theatre. Among them is the Corkscrew Theater Festival, a brand-new festival at the Paradise Factory that “aims to increase access to production opportunities for a varied set of early-career artists, especially those who are redefining traditional creative roles and developing work through unusual collaborative models.” Presented by The Brewing Dept. and Fortress Productions, the festival runs August 7 through September 3 and includes five new plays with eight performances each, as well as readings of five plays in development. We spoke with playwright Robert Zander Norman about his play All Of My Blood. Tell us about your show!  All Of My Blood is about a young woman who’s feeling pushed aside and taken for granted by her partner at the same time as she is possibly becoming a werewolf. The core of it is really about how difficult it can be to make sure you’re understood, even when you’re speaking to the people you …Read more

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Written by: Bill Crouch
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