Review: The Last Big Mistake (The Factory Theater)

| April 1, 2016

Angela DeMarco and Kim Boler in Last Big Mistake         
    

     
The Last Big Mistake

Written by Ernie Deak 
The Factory Theater, 1623 W. Howard (map)
thru Apr 30  |  tix: $10-$25   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets   
    


    
  

Factory christens new home with more style than substance

  

Angela DeMarco, Eric Loughlin, Kim Boler and Eric Roach in Last Big Mistake, Factory Theater

    
The Factory Theater presents
    
The Last Big Mistake

Review by Keith Glab

The Factory Theater was founded in Rogers Park more than twenty years ago. Since then, they have enjoyed several homes around Chicago, most recently at Prop Thtr on the Northwest side. Returning to Rogers Park to open their 23rd season in a brand new space, The Factory Theater continues to produce original, action-packed plays that don’t Angela DeMarco, Kim Boler and Kevin Alve in Last Big Mistake, Factory Theater 2take themselves too seriously.

The latest in a long line of such shows, The Last Big Mistake involves two lady wrestlers who, short on cash, get involved with some mobsters in stealing a mysterious item from a mysterious man. The ensuing romp takes them around Chicago, dodging bullets from villains, punches from antagonist lady wrestlers, and advances from seedy mechanics. It’s a fast-paced, Kill Bill-style thriller with little concern for plot. Though placed in 1975, the setting doesn’t affect the proceedings as much as you might expect.

Kim Boler and Angela DeMarco play the lady wrestler protagonists Lola Knight and Roxy Aguilar as fairly understated, given the tone of the rest of the piece, serving to ground the ridiculousness. The rest of the cast camps it up. Christy Arington and Maureen Yasko are particularly enjoyable as the Bad Guy lady wrestlers Bad Betty Willfinger and Big Alice Nitschke, counterpointing Boler and DeMarco’s naturalistic performances with impossibly big ones. Frank Nagy (Eric Roach) is an eccentric Chicago mobster whose dim-witted henchman (Eric Loughlin) imitates Nagy’s gestures when Nagy speaks. Timothy C. Amos really delights as a Bond-style villain with distinctive mannerisms and vocal inflections. He completely commits to his characters actions and doesn’t give the wink and nod to the audience that the rest of the cast does.

Angela DeMarco, Kim Boler and Kevin Alve in Last Big Mistake, Factory Theater Eric Loughlin and Eric Roach in Last Big Mistake, Factory TheaterTimothy C. Amos and Maureen Yasko in Last Big Mistake, Factory Theater Blake Dalzin, Angela DeMarco and Kim Boler in Last Big Mistake, Factory TheatereEric Roach, Timothy C. Amos and Eric Loughlin in Last Big Mistake, Factory Theater

While the romp is a lot of fun, the production has its issues. For a short 80-minute show, an awful lot of time is spent with scene changes and fights. This leaves little time for plot and character development in the barrage of short scenes. Character motivations and logical narrative fall to the wayside and not always to humorous effect. Failing to identify the mysterious object that precipitates all these events comes across as lazy writing.

The Last Big Mistake combines campy acting with irreverent humor and fun/sexy wrestling moves, but it displays a lot more style than substance. If you’ve enjoyed other Factory Theater shows, you should enjoy this one as well. If you’re looking for a first time introduction to what Factory Theater is all about, there’s a good chance one of their next shows this season will work a bit better.

  
Rating: ★★½
  
   

The Last Big Mistake continues through April 30th at The Factory Theater, 1623 W. Howard (map), with performances Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays 3pm.  Tickets are $10-$25, and are available by phone (866-811-4111) or online through OvationTix.com (check for half-price tickets at Goldstar.com). More information at TheFactoryTheater.com(Running time: 80 minutes, no intermission)

Erich Loughlin, Christy Arington, Eric Roach, Angela DeMarco, Kim Boler, Blake Dalzin, Timothy C. Amos, Maureen Yasko,

Photos by Michael Courier 


 

artists

cast

Kevin Alves (Foswald), Timothy C. Amos (Cecil Seinkeiwicz), Christy Arington (Bad Betty Willfinger), Kim Boler (Lola Knight), Blake Dalzin (Jake), Angela DeMarco (Roxy Aguilar), Eric Loughlin (Claude), Eric Roach (Frank Nagy), Maureen Yasko (Big Alice Nitschke)

behind the scenes

Manny Tamayo (director), Greg Caldwell (asst. director), Jermaine Edward Thomas (stage manager), Anthony Tournis (fight choreography), Kaitlyn Grissom (set design),Tom Aufmann (master of mystic arts), Sarah Espinosa (sound design), Christine Jennings (prop design), Rachel Sypniewski (costume design), Scott Wagner (lighting design), CW van Baale (master electrician), Jason Moody (graphic design, original music), Scott Oken (production manager)

Eric Loughlin, Angela DeMarco and Eric Roach in Last Big Mistake, Factory TheaterKim Boler and Kevin Alves in Last Big Mistake, Factory Theater Maureen Yasko in The Last Big Mistake, The Factory TheaterMaureen Yasko, Kim Boler, Christy Arington and Angela DeMarco in Last Big Mistake, Factory Theater

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Category: 2016 Reviews, Factory Theater, Keith Glab, New Work, World Premier

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