Oscar E Moore

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In God’s Hat – Brotherly Love Grand Guignol Style

July 27th, 2010 by Oscar E Moore

“In God’s Hat” a new two act play written by Richard Taylor in the genre of “horror made humorous” now playing at the Peter J. Sharp Theater; produced by the Apothecary Theatre Company could be called “In God’s Shoes” or rather more appropriately “In God’s Boots” as the two heavily tattooed, shaved headed and menacing neo-Nazi characters Arthur Cruter (Dennis Flanagan) and Early Boyle (Gary Francis Hope) who come a lookin’ and a huntin’ for Mitch and Roy have one thing on their minds -extermination.  Condoned, of course, by the help of the Lord.

Mitch (Rhett Rossi) and Roy (Tom Pelphey) are brothers.  Mitch has just been released from a correctional facility after ten years for child molestation and is holed up in some seedy motel room with his younger brother Roy (Tom Pelphrey) in some bizarre family reunion that goes askew and where we discover some dark family secrets.

Roy is a neat freak and has a dead pan dark sense of illogical humor that is endearing.  Mitch is nervous and unsure as to why they are there as he tries to bond again with his long lost sibling.  It’s strange.  But both actors area excellent in their roles.

The horror arrives in the form of a very opinionated Arthur who has tried to kill Mitch in jail leaving him badly scarred but alive.  He has returned to finish the deed.  Will he succeed?  Or will he have the tables turned on him?  There is some tension, violence and blood.  Dennis Flanagan is fantastic as Arthur.

If I was sitting at the edge of my seat it wasn’t because of the tension or that I was anxious as to what would happen next but to hear neo Nazi number two – Gary Francis Hope.  He brought down the volume of the play and any momentum that had accrued.

Inconsistencies abound.  And annoy.  Mostly due to the lackluster direction of Kevin Kittle.  The main set (Michael Reese) is fine but little space is left for the last scene which is unfortunately performed at the apron of the stage and only the first two rows can see or hear what is going on.

The part of the Corrections Officer is played by Mike Mihm.  Through August 7th.

www.apothecarytheatrecompany.org Photo:  Dale Jabagat

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