The Big Bang
“Madcap,” “zany” and “romp” are words invented for reviewers. Really now, who else uses such language? But it’s the only way to describe the amusing and insane antics displayed in B Street’s silly summer soiree The Big Bang.
This madcap, zany romp—which traces man’s history from creation to present day—looks as fun to put on as it is to watch. Not only do two actors portray everyone from Adam and Eve to Napoleon and Josephine, but they also use everyday items for costumes—grabbing curtains, vases and pillows for personal props. It’s also a musical with 23 songs audaciously poking fun at historic moments and figures, including the Virgin Mary, Attila the Hun, Pocahontas and Janis Joplin.
The comedic musical is being produced at the B Street Theatre’s B2 Stage, usually the setting for its Children’s Theatre of California productions. The premise is simple yet wacky. Two actors, B Street regulars Greg Alexander and Jason Kuykendall, come out and address the audience. They explain that they’re looking for backers for their $83.5 million musical that traces the story of civilization. In hopes of enticing big spenders to back The Big Bang, they offer to stage a condensed version for any potential investors in the audience, playing all the parts themselves. Throughout this interactive production, the actors interact with audience members, giving stage directions and painting visual pictures by using everything found in a friend’s apartment.
Casting elastic-faced, loopy-limbed Alexander in such a rambunctious romp is a no-brainer. Quirky characters are what he excels in, as is evident in B Street’s production of Around the World in 80 Days. But who would have thought Kuykendall, known locally for romantic leads, had an inner goofiness just screaming to be let out? Kuykendall’s a riot in both facial expressions and physical comedy, showing no shame whatsoever as he prances around in a thong and a toga and with various wigs, hats and plants dangling from his head.
The humor in The Big Bang is very much in the politically incorrect vein of The Producers. Everyone is skewered, no race or religion is spared, the double entendres fly, and the jokes are both naughty and groan-producing. It’s not for the thin-skinned, the overly sensitive or anyone looking for deep and meaningful messages. But it is for audiences looking for madcap mayhem and zany antics in their summer entertainment.