"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

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