Point of Contention’s fifth annual ‘Chaos’ festival

Just a quick note that last night I caught the final performance of Point of Contention Theatre Company’s Chaos 5 — their fifth annual festival of ten-minute plays. This year, the 2.5 hour evening featured ten pieces with ten different directors and a combined total cast of nearly 40 people. That’s a LOT of parts for a small theatre company to pull together, and do it so remarkably well.

Overall, the quality of the pieces — in terms of writing, directing and acting — was surprisingly great. Yes, there were a few pieces that seemed a little too inconsequential in comparison to others. The first piece, The Lady and “The Tyger” or William Blake’s “How I Met Your Mother,” started off the evening on a trite note, and The Kill by Alex Broun resulted in nothing more than a lame punchline. But the acting in both still shone through.

I particularly enjoyed Egg Whites and Miracles, by Stephen Faria, a pitch-perfect comedy about a hooker and an uptight business woman who bond over a miraculous eggwhite omlette. M. Evanston by John J. King, about a recently divorced Wrigley Field worker and a newbie transvestite who forge an unlikely connection (with credit to Cyndi Lauper) on the north-bound red line, also made a strong impression, thanks to subtle and touching performances by Gregory Rothman and Shawn Escarciga. (I guess I’m drawn to one-act plays that deal with unlikely people bonding over unlikely things?)

But the evening belonged to the final surprise madcap musical comedy finale of the night, The Alleged Adventures of Blenderman, written by Michael Gordon Shapiro and directed by Dan Foss. A doctor attempts to convince a hospital review board that his patient is fit for release, but said patient keeps breaking into song about his superhero side career as … Blenderman! It all ends zany and fun. Brava/vo!

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