BY ELLEN KOESTER
The student-directed “Fuddy Meers” was both a funny and crazy production.
The play ran from Friday to Sunday last week in Drake’s Studio 55 in the Harmon Fine Arts Center. Drake senior Eric Deutz directed the play, and David Lindsay-Abaire wrote it.
Most of the laughs came from the craziness that the audience witnessed on stage between the different characters, all of whom had some screws loose.
The production was about a woman with amnesia named Claire (Courtney Gordon) who had to be reminded of her identity every morning by her husband (Henry Fisher).
However, one morning a deformed man claiming to be her brother (played by Nathan Smith) whisks her away, insisting that her husband was trying to kill her. As more characters are added into the mix, the play gets more convoluted and outrageous from there.
The audience was mostly in the same situation as Claire throughout the play. No one knew quite what was going on or how to react to it.
This is what made the play unexpected. The plot was so twisted that it was hard to tell where the story was going next.
It was also hard to tell from whom or where the next joke was going to come.
Theater major Paul Grewe, who has seen every Drake show in the past, read the script and knew what he was in for.
“I enjoyed it. I really appreciated it. The way (Deutz) weaved in the circus fun house was very interesting,” Grewe said.
He went with a fellow student, Anne Matte, who said she particularly loved the performance of “stoner boy,” played by Matthew Greenbaum.
The stoner boy, otherwise known as Claire’s son, Kenny, brightened an already colorful cast. Aside from Claire’s amnesia, the audience was treated to all sorts of varieties of crazy. Soft-spoken criminal Millet (Brock Webb) paired with his Catholic, foul-mouthed puppet, Hinky Binky (also Webb), produced many laughs, mainly at the juxtaposition of Millet’s quiet complaints and Binky’s screams of profanity.
Although much of the craziness came from obviously unhinged characters like Millet, some characters had more to them than first met the eye.
Gertie, Claire’s mother (Haley Ashlin), looked like a perfectly normal grandmother-type character until she opened her mouth.
Claire’s husband was also not the typical, caring husband as he first appeared. As the play went on, their marriage proved to be much darker than expected. The mind of Claire’s brother was even more messed up than his scarred face. And don’t even try to guess where the lady cop (Hannah Stibbe) fits into this chaos.
As Grewe had predicted before the show’s curtains rose, the play had a weird and twisted feel. It explored some darker themes alongside chaos and humor. This boosted the play to another level, as it played with the emotions of the audience at times and was not simply a comedy.
Overall, with amazing acting, interesting set design and a puppet that swore more than the average Drake student, the play was a great success.