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).