Though the plot of MSU Theatre’s first season show of the year can sound a bit odd to someone with no previous knowledge of the play, Comic Potential makes for an excellent night of theatre.
In the future, movies have gone all but extinct, and now screen entertainment is exclusively television. Due to the fact that the idea of comedy has also left the world of media, most of the shows are along the lines of never-ending soap operas, such as the one the play opens on. Not only this, but the actors are actually robots known as “actoids” that are being controlled by the writers and director.
As one of the actoids begins showing a fault by spontaneously laughing, Adam Trainsmith, a young writer with a passion for old-fashioned comedy begins working in the studio. One afternoon, when left alone with the faulting actoid, he begins talking to himself, and she starts to respond. Realizing she’s a quick learner with a fresh personality, he begins writing a new piece specifically for her. As they continue with the project and get to know each other, the potential for love blossoms as well.
With a muddling regional TV director, reluctant studio workers, and a world that refuses slapstick humor, every witness to this satire is in for a night of enjoyment. Or, if you just want to see the radiant beam of sunshine known as Michaela Shapiro shove a custard pie into someone’s face, you’re in luck as well!
Comic Potential is directed by Don Hart and stars Michaela Shapiro, Braden Hanafee-Major, Riley LinDell, Delanie Weidrich, Zoe Hartigan, Brandon Homan, Sophie Finnerty, John Nicol, Brandon Deutsch, and Kaitlin McLellan. The show opened Wednesday night and runs every night through Saturday, Sept.17. Showtime starts at 7:30 p.m. each night. Tickets are available in the Performing Arts box office from 4 to 6 p.m. on weekdays, or starting an hour before each show. Ticket prices are $8 for MSU students and $10 for general admission.
On a bonus note, the theatre department is welcoming Tony Award nominee David Yazbeck, the composer of The Full Monty, to campus this week. To conclude his visit, on Saturday night, the department is hosting An Evening With David Yazbeck, where he and other students will perform pieces of his work, as well as a variety of other things that may be in store. Best of all, it is free and open to the public.
If you’re at all interested in joining for this exciting opportunity, come to the Performing Arts recital hall on Sept. 17 at 7:30 p.m. Showtime is expected to last about two hours.