Paxton Vs Pullman
Mainly Me Productions sets off a battle of epic proportions by setting Bill Paxton and Bill Pullman on opposite sides of a world-ending conflict...who will win? Hell, for that matter -- who is who?
We walked into the Brave New Workshop Theatre, not sure what to expect other than the proverbial 'good time.' We'd heard the joint was on hiatus for the summer, and that the theatre was open to use by other groups... tonight, while many of the regulars were in the program, this was not an official Brave New Workshop production, but belonged to "Mainly Me Productions."
The show was called "Paxton Vs. Pullman" and was billed as a final battle between Paxton & Pullman, two 'B list' actors who the world never quite remembers right... As in "Bill Paxton and Bill Pullman are two of Hollywood's biggest "Aren't-You-The-Guy-From?" stars. Suddenly, these two everyman character actors find themselves on opposite ends of a vast Hollywood conspiracy, in the best action/adventure/comedy/epic play you're going to see all summer. PAXTON VS. PULLMAN: No Matter Who Wins, You'll Think He's the Other Guy." But as a woman, I was entranced by an entirely different plot line...
What's the deal with Lindsay Lohan? And what ever happened to Meg Ryan? OK, so maybe all this shows my age, but really...
"Paxton Vs Pullman" is short on the 'action' of an 'action flick' (but then, this is a live performance, & no one wants to see or wear real blood) ~ But it doesn't pull any punches when it comes to satire.
It would be too easy to get all philosophical with the play, but this would ruin it for any one else who'd like to see it. On the other hand, I don't believe it's playing now... Hmmmm, what-to-do, what-to-do... I know, we'll focus on the humor.
Absurd. Witty. Clever. And did I mention the satire? Well written, perfectly executed ~ right down to the reaction of Lauren Anderson (Hillary Duff) to an unplanned exploding light. (Hey, everyone here does improv, even the light bulbs.)
Speaking of improv, kudos go to Shanan Wexler (Meg Ryan), for her scene with the juice box. In fairness, kudos to the rest of the cast who continued despite her upstaging them.
Brittany Benjamin (Lindsay Lohan) did a nice job of making a stereotype as simple as we needed her to be. It would be easy to have gone too far, and then the whole play would have "gone to camp." *wink*
Tera Jansen's Tara Reid was perfect. Her Tara was worthy of mocking & yet you routed for redemption ~ How odd, I'm not sure Tara herself deserves redemptive status, but Tera makes me think she might! Joe Bozic (Rayme Sinclair) & Mike Fotis (Damien St. Peter) played more than one role, and did each character justice. (Even if they played smarmy agents who know-not this 'justice.')
If anyone thinks I'm ignoring the leads, Corey Anderson (Bill Paxton) & Fred Beukema (Bill Pullman), I'm not. They did such a precise job of replicating their characters, that they became well, less than memorable. It may sound like a horrible thing to say, but honestly, it's a compliment ~ Remember, "No Matter Who Wins, You'll Think He's the Other Guy."
In fact, I didn't hate a single person in the cast. A rare event for Gracie.
Shining moment for Gracie: John Bungert's delivery on the joy of urination. Made even more incomparable as he was playing Bea Arthur. Sublime.
If a comedy can be elegant, "Paxton Vs Pullman" is such an example. If this production is a typical example of the kind of fun you'll have at any Brave New Workshop production, Gracie says what are you waiting for? Even though Paxton Vs. Pullman is no longer on stage, there's plenty of comedy to be found. Go buy some tickets!
PS "Mainly Me Productions" is right, this is apparently a thinly veiled reference to Josh Carson, Writer/Producer of tonight's event. (And he managed to shine in the role of Peter Gallagher ~ it's hard not to be overshadowed by those eyebrows!)
While the entire cast was fabulous, there's something fascinating about the kind of mind which concocts such stories... Then again, we Sex Kittens find brains more fun than string, and humor better than catnip... Gracie's working on luring him to the parlor soon ~ for an interview, of course *wink* So stay tuned!