Capital Fringe Review: ‘Stone Age Recreation: An Operetta’ by Francine Schwartz

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Stone Age Recreation is an operetta developed by The Apron Theatre Company. It is a “physical comedy” by DC-area writer/producer Tyler Budde and director Maria Benson which minimizes dialogue in favor of mime and what appears to be pre-speech caveman floorplay, punctuated by flash forwards to a character who is dreaming up a challenging scenerio. Embedded in the play are references to inventions we currently enjoy, including the wheel, jive dancing, juggling, and original sin. Both juggling and original sin capitalize on the abundant apples in the set.

There is an innovative ensemble of 7 performers: Matthew Marcus, Zakk Eastman, Haely Jardas, Rick Westerkamp, Ezree Mualem, Mia Branco, and Amanda Smith and a live 6-piece orchestra filled with wonderful musicians – Andrew Welch (piano), Kevin Eikenberg (Marimaba), Douglas Bell (cello), Dennis Budde (saxophone) and Craig Budde on Drums, all playing a feature-length original score from Charleston based writer Craig Budde, one of four Budde brothers involved with the company and this production. Budde’s score has some wonderful Adam Guettel (The Light in the Piazza)-like ballads and is a very innovative score. Toe-tapping it’s not.

Jardas, Eastman, Matthew Marcus and Westerkamp have wonderful voices, and I would have liked to have heard them sing more. This was sacrificed in favor of vigorous choreography by Amanda Smith and whimsical non-verbal communication, which must have required considerable rehearsal and teamwork.

For more information, go to our Fringe Preview.

 

 

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