The good news is that Devil Boys from Beyond is one of the funniest shows I’ve seen in a long time. It’s a clever take off of all those 1950 space-ship-alien-creatures-come-to Earth movies cross pollinated with the 1940’s screwball comedy His Girl Friday.
The even better news is that it has been chosen to be in the FringeNYC Encores Series beginning September 10th, and so you can actually get to see this wonderful four star comedy with four, four star male actors playing the four, four star femme fatale roles. What would the Fringe Festival be without some drag queens in attendance?
Devil Boys From Beyond, tartly written by Buddy Thomas is a far fetched fantastic voyage that director Kenneth Elliott guides beautifully from take off to bumpy landing.
Congratulations are due all around. Especially to the planet Pluto for sending two of the handsomest, hunkiest Plutonians (Jeff Riberdy & Jacques Mitchell) to invade Earth, taking the wind out of Florence Wexler (Everett Quinton) when their space ship lands atop her husband’s tool shed in Lizard Lick, Florida.
Back in New York at the Daily Bugle rumors are rife and top notch Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Mattie Van Buren (Paul Pecorino) is sent by her editor (Peter Cormican) to cover the story. Complications arise with her souse of a handsome photographer husband (Robert Berliner) who she has caught in bed with her arch rival Lucinda Marsh (Chris Dell’Armo) who is hot for him and hot on the heels of Mattie to scoop the story right out from under her pumps.
Upon their arrival they meet up with Dotty Primrose (Andy Halliday) owner of the place where they are staying and all hell breaks loose with the alien creatures, the two rival reporters, looks that could kill, unexpected and hilarious situations and dialogue that will have you splitting your sides with laughter. I know that’s a cliché but it is true in this case.
As Mattie Van Buren, Paul Pecorino has the walk, the gestures, the looks of Joan Crawford, crossed with Roz Russell crossed with Bette Davis down pat. He is fabulous. Even when he went up in his lines at the final performance Sunday – in character he took a swig from a flask and then got the lines right to great applause. When the space ship took off at the end at blew the circuits he continued on in darkness while one of the two dexterous stage hands came out with a flashlight to illuminate. That’s what is so great about live theatre. And having expert actors in a very, very funny comedy isn’t so bad either.
Everett Quinton who learned his craft under the tutelage of the remarkable Charles Ludlam is in top form in his lavender teddy making out like a bandit with his naughty Mae West take off. Delicious. As Lucinda, Chris Dell’Armo is very Eve Arden with great comic delivery. Andy Halliday does Dotty proud also. As the drunken, adorable husband of Mattie – Robert Berliner has his Cary Grant hat on and it fits perfectly. Deadpan hilarity ensues. And Peter Cormican as Gilbert is perfect in his role of the guy trying to save his newspaper from going under – trying to get enemies to cooperate. You can only imagine!
Great costumes from Gail Baldoni and terrific wig design by Gerard Kelly. Mattie sings an original song “Sensitive Girl” music and lyrics by Drew Fornarola that is just one of the highlights of the show filled from beginning to end with untold and unlimited surprises.
Devil Boys From Beyond is produced by Madcap Productions. That sums it up to a tee.