by Matt Ritchey
Do yourself a favor and do not stop by this family’s house for dinner. Grisly things await.
The dark comedy drips from Feast, a re-mounting of Dylan Wallace‘s 2014 Fringe piece – a debauched dining room ditty featuring depravity galore. The costumes are striking, with the black and white motif reminiscent (purposefully so, I would imagine) of other monstrous characters and families – Addams, Munsters, and even Jack Skellington, who Wallace’s tall thin frame mirrors. All the farcical caricatures are there – the over-the-top parents (Dylan Wallace and Jennifer Johnson), the grounded and unassuming daughter (Jocelyn Hall), the ribald grandfather (Evan Wallace), and the sneaky sexy maid (Meaghan Wallace).
Christopher Durang-style farce is hard to pull off and requires a strict specificity to style. Feast sometimes falls prey to simply overacting and broad strokes. Energy levels vary from actor to actor and this is one place the direction could have been bolstered – putting a moment of naturalistic acting into a heightened piece can add a fun comedy beat, but here it becomes muddy and drags the action.
Still, the idea is a fun one, the actors are really involved, and Wallace and company have a clear love for the genre.