Creepy as hell
My Fellow Creatures
Wilkerson Theatre (formerly The California Stage)1723 25th St.
Sacramento, CA 95816
Once in a while, a play comes along that just creeps the hell out of you. EMH Productions’ debut effort, My Fellow Creatures by Michael Rubenfeld, proves to be that sort of truly uncomfortable experience.
Arthur (Lonon Smith) is an incarcerated middle-aged child molester who fails to see the error of his ways. When he meets Kelly (Dan Fagan), a younger incarcerated child molester, Arthur has to come to terms with his conceptions of love. The play deals with this idea in a no-holds-barred expression of little-boy affection, and the majority of the play is Arthur proselytizing about how pure and beautiful it is to love a child.
It’s really very creepy. Watching a play that constantly displays empathy for a child molester is not an easy task, and audiences should be aware of the specific content before planning a night out.
Fagan comes in a distant first with performance. Unfortunately, most of the production meanders slowly and with pauses between every line. Creatures has a cast of three, but Fagan is the only one that seems able to withstand his intense role. Smith’s lines are obviously rehearsed, but when it comes to making them count as more than just passable performance, he flounders.
As far as production values go, the set feels exactly as it should—a dank, depressing cell. But the unintentional iPod wheel click before each incidental song and the paper smoke that fills the air in the tiny, cramped theater for the last minutes of the play prove that this is a labor of love that needs more development.