by Matt Ritchey
Christopher Lyons’s Final Preparations at Studio/Stage is a one-man horror show about an aesthetician giving a young girl’s corpse a final make-up preparation before her showing. Things, of course, are not as they seem, and so ensues a show full of some truly scary beats and beautifully executed stage tech.
Without giving anything away, the shocks in Final Preparations come from some very well executed creep moments and sound/lighting effects. The script, too, is effective – a strange man with some strange habits coming in for what would seem to be just another night on the job. The beats are all here and the ideas are all in place, but the show has one major factor missing. Lyons is a fine performer but here he writes, acts, and directs. The work could stand to have an outside eye, someone to give Lyons an extra push or a reigning back depending on the situation. As it stands, all of the information is there, but the audience’s emotional experience could be dialed up another five notches.
The story and shocks are definitely worth experiencing and Studio/Stage is an excellent location for “Final Preparations.” You should consider making yours this Fringe.