Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Devil Boys From Beyond at LandlessTheatre Company

Aliens have invaded the DCArts Center in Washington DC.  A gung-ho all-male gang of actors tackles this groan-inducing very adult camp fest with uneven results.   The problem lies in that not all of the actors fully embrace the broad farce inherent in the play.   It also suffers from having a traditional theater schedule.   Devil Boys From Beyond cries out to be staged as a midnight event fueled with liberal doses of alcohol in the audience.  It is difficult for the actors to feed energy from a sedate Sunday matinee crowd.

There are mysterious events happening in Lizard Lick, Florida.  Did a spaceship crash on Harry Wexler's (David Benji Weiner) farm?   No one will believe his wife, Florence (Stephen Kirkpatrick).   Meanwhile, in New York City, newspaper editor Gilbert Wiatt (Chris Gillespie) faces financial ruin.   He sends his crack girl reporter Mattie Van Buren (Patrick M. Doneghy) to investigate hoping that the big story will save the paper.  Tagging along are her alcoholic ex Gregory Graham (Stephen Hock) and her bitter rival, Lucinda Marsh (Lucrezia Blozia).   Throw in busy-body and hotel proprietress, Dottie Primrose (Charles Boyington) and her sheriff husband (Darius T. Epps).   But, wait.    The town is not what it seems.   Who are those buff young studs turning the ladies libidos a tizzy?    Are they Devil Boys from outer space?

The puns fly furiously in the fast paced scenes.   Yet, while the scenes are fast paced, the scene changes are not.   There are challenges to the DC Arts Space, one of which is a lack of any space to use for scene changes.   One wishes that other solutions were found rather than the large amount of furniture that must be constantly moved around in the lengthy blackouts.  

While all of the actors have their comedic moments, some performances are uneven.   Given the tiny space it is inexcusable that anyone should have difficulty being heard in the back row.  Yet there are many outstanding performances.  Lucrezia Blozia provides the right amount of vamp and camp as the evil Lucinda Marsh, yet some of the punch lines are lost by a lack of crisp diction.     Chris Gillespie has the right tone as the hard driving newspaper editor.    Charles Boyington and Steven Kirkpatrick as the two batty ladies of Lizard Lick are two hoots in a holler as they start as two seemingly middle aged eccentrics, yet embrace with the right amount of over the top verve the handsome rewards of their "alien" encounters. Portraying our girl reporter, Patrick M. Doneghy is perfect as the gal with a broken heart and a nose for news.

Devil Boys From Beyond is not perfect, but it is a fun evening for good adult laughs.

Devil Boys From Beyond will be presented by Landless Theatre Company at the DC Arts Center through  February 26, 2012.   For tickets and other performance information please visit

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