by Beki Pineda
MAGNETS ON THE FRIDGE – Written and Directed by the Buntport Theater Company. Presented by Buntport Theater Company (717 Lipan, Denver) the first Wednesday of every month. Tickets available at 720-946-1388 or stuff@buntport.com.
I have resisted one night shows and readings for years because I can’t really review them as they are different every performance. Or not there the next night. But I’ve heard about MAGNETS for years and admired the talent and intelligence of the Buntport crew for the same amount of time. Finally a friend of mine won a slot in a MAGNETS show by virtue of a winning bid at an auction – which gave me an excuse to attend one of their performances.
How I wish I had not missed the years that they have been doing this!! I had such a good time and continue to be in awe of the creativity and intelligence of this group of performers. The gimmick is that once a month a group of five friends get together to discuss a book – different every month. Only Paul (Erik Edborg) ever reads the books and is genuinely interested in discussing the books intelligently. The other four people – Ernie (Brian Colonna), LP (Hannah Duggan), Paula (Erin Rollman), and Nathan (the returning Evan Weiss) – continue to be shamed into pretending that they have read the book and trying to fake a discussion about it. For instance, the book for May was WICKED by Gregory Maguire, a prequel to THE WIZARD OF OZ now made into a successful musical. LP had been in THE WIZ, the all-black (she’s not) version of THE WIZARD OF OZ in high school so she thought she could easily fake a discussion of anything Oz  However, she got sidetracked into a trip to the DMV because her driver’s license had expired and she needed to renew it before she could “Travel on Down the Road” (sung to the melody of “Ease On Down the Road). Paula is a big fan of TV guru Dr. Oz and thought that all the medical trivia she had picked up watching his programs would help her get through the discussion of Oz-isms. She kept trying to throw in these random and pointless bits of medical mishmash to a discussion of WICKED.
The boys were no better. Nathan had binge watched OZ, the prison based TV series, in an effort to learn about all things Oz – but came out talking and posturing like a hardened criminal . . . as best he could. He and Ernie got into a discussion that veered from the flying monkeys of The Wizard of Oz to Planet of the Apes to a fearful Planet of the Flying Bears. Their duet was “Define Depravity.” Even straight-laced Paul got drug into the craziness by having to visit the dentist (Guest Artist Steven Burge) who revisited “Defying Cavities” while standing on an office chair with his dental coat flying out behind him.
This is just a hint of the craziness that polluted the evening. Obviously a lot of the script is indeed scripted, but a great part of it is also improv. Which makes it seem like a normal conversation between long-time and twisted friends. The theatre was packed attesting to the popularity of this form of entertainment. Actually it was much funnier than any stand up routine I’ve ever seen. So I’m sorry you missed this one – there will never be another one like it. But the next one will be JUNE 5 at 8:00 at the Buntport Theater; the Book of the Month that month is “My Sister, the Serial Killer.” I CAN’T WAIT!!
A WOW factor of 9!!