"Chicken Heart" Performance

This is our performance of Chicken Heart by Arch Oboler at the Kansas City Fringe Festival on July 21, 2013. Directed by Tara Varney. Starring Andy Garrison, Parry Luellen, Amy Hurrelbrink, Marcie Ramirez, and Eric Tedder.

"Chicken Heart" review by tomeserole

Wonderful Sci-FI
Wow. This takes me back to how sci-fi made it into the media.
Great stage show. Wonderful performance from the cast, including the
puppets and their masters. So nice to SEE live sound effects. (Yes, do
think about that last sentence.)

I plan to go back again and take more friends to see this. It took me back
to being on a live set of The Twilight Zone.

Thank you to the cast and crew.

from KC Stage 
Photo by Shane Rowse

"Chicken Heart" review by Rabid_Reviewer

Old Radio with a lot of heart
After so many years of the Fringe Festival, there has been one consistency you can count on: a clever script by Bryan Colley and excellent direction by Tara Varney.

This show is somewhat dated, not because of the material, but because the delivery method of the story is something younger generations are not familiar with anymore. The Chicken Heart was a presentation of the Lights Out radio show. In the iPod generation, radio shows are not something most younger people are familiar with.

The presentation of this piece hearkens back to the old radio days, by presenting not only actors on a set, but also the sound engineers, creating live sound effects on stage. I loved it.

The staging is creative, entertaining, and forces the audience to use their imagination to fill in the gaps in a highly effective way.

My favorite moment of the show was Amy Hurrelbrink's performance as the airplane. I don't want to say anymore about that because it really should be seen without the surprises ruined.

I do have one nitpick. To increase the size of the cast on stage, hand puppets were employed to play characters. The concept works well, however, it would have been even MORE effective if the puppets and humans could have been individualized and interacted more. As an actor, it is difficult to separate yourself from the puppets you are working with and keep each of them active in their own subtext. It's the kind of thing that takes years of training and practice to get just right, and let's face it, the Jim Henson company is probably beyond the budget of this production. It's a minor flaw and I'm nitpicking.

This is a highly entertaining production that will bring a sense of nostalgia to the older generation and hopefully introduce a younger generation to a form of entertainment that is passing into the mists of time due to constantly changing technology.

from KC Stage
Photo by Shane Rowse

"Chicken Heart" review by wornall

Chicken Heart FUN!
Just back from the Fringe Festival and saw Chicken Heart. In almost one word: "a blast!" In two words: "go see!" Imagine an old radio show and an old comic book, got together in the back seat of a 1948 Hudson and produced a love child. They name it "Chicken Heart," as produced by Bryan Colley and Tara Varney. The small cast produces sound affects, plays three characters at one time and has as much fun as the audience. Then just when you think they have taken it too far, they go further and it is perfect! The cast, each and every one, is great. Andy Garrison is perfection as the mad scientist! So if you want to have fun, hoot, be surprised and have even more fun, go see Chicken Heart!

from KC Stage 
Photo by Shane Rowse

"Chicken Heart" review by Showrev

Great play, excellent acting!
I went to this play by chance, but I'm glad I did. It was a nice surprise, one of the best shows at Fringe Fest that I've seen! The play is funny, on the dark humor side, trying to keep the horror SF plot of the original radio show, and the acting outstanding. Worth seeing!

more at KC Stage 
Photo by Shane Rowse

"Chicken Heart" review by BrettV

They push the medium in new directions - and it works, again!
This show is not just funny and nostalgic. It's an extremely clever update combining visual theater with radio performance. Colley/Varney has again created a new vision of what traditional theater can be, without sacrificing the entertainment value. The actors fulfill roles of stage acting, multiple characters, radio sound effects, and even props, and all are excellent while challenged by not being allowed to remain immersed in their roles (method actors need not apply).

The Colley/Varney team is local-famous for pioneering writing and stage techniques, including not breaking but bulldozing the fourth wall (Lingerie Shop), and disallowing suspension-of-disbelief as an allegory to the play itself (Sexing Hitler). But it isn't just High Art, lost in intellectualism or existentialism. It's real entertainment for most audiences. I'm looking forward to their next new invention, even if it's just a plain-old show.

more at KC Stage 
Photo by Shane Rowse

"Chicken Heart" review by fluffysingler

Brechtian cheesy fun
Brecht said that there was no need for the "suspension of disbelief" in theatre, citing the recounting of an accident as an example of performance that lays the performance elements bare. Chicken Heart straddles that line, making the sound effects obvious to the audience and making no effort to make this a realistic play, and in this case, it really works well! Many of the effects, such as the flying of the helicopter, reminded me of the backyard plays of children. The scientist is right out of Central Casting and harkens back to Dr. Strangelove. This pulls out every sci-fi cliche in the book and has so much fun with it! I can't imagine anyone not having fun at this show!

And by the way, it is family friendly. Bring the kids! Bring the grandparents! Bring your friends! Bring your enemies, your frenemies, and everyone else you can fit in your car.

from KC Stage
Photo by Shane Rowse

Three Bonus Performances of "Chicken Heart"

Due to a cancellation, we've been able to add three more bonus showings of Chicken Heart to the KC Fringe schedule.

SUN JULY 21 @ 4:30PM

It's still at the Off Center Theatre, still $10 tickets (with $5 Fringe button).

more details here