125 NO’S

125 NO’S – Written by the members of the Buntport Theatre Company.  Produced by the Buntport Theatre Company (717 Lipan, Denver) through March 23.  Tickets available at 720-946-1388 or stuff@buntport.com

The one truly constant thing you can count on every time you take a chance on a new Buntport show . . . . is that it’s going to be remarkably creative, off the wall, charmingly witty and laugh-out-loud funny. Those of us that have been fans for years have fun recounting our favorites and we generally add a new one with each new show. My past personal favorites have been TITUS ANDRONICUS (out of the back of a van with a tick board for every new murder), THE REMBRANDT ROOM (a remarkable one-woman tour de force by the incredible Erin Rollman), and COYOTE, BADGER, RATTLESNAKE (set in a diorama of a Natural History Museum). But each show has its own special joy for the audience. 

125 NO’S is no exception. A cunning piece that involves being backstage at a movie with some of the crew as a scene – nay, a word – is shot over and over again in search of the perfect “NO.” Poor Greer Garson was saddled with this responsibility in her movie called “Desire Me” with Robert Mitchum back in the 40’s.

Our crew – the make up lady (Hannah Duggan) is bored and irritated at having to refresh Ms. Garson’s nose every ten minutes; the lady from the censors from the Production Code Administration who is bored and has to make sure there were no curse words or licentious behavior (Erin Rollman); the sound man (Erik Ekborg) who is bored and always concerned if there was enough fog, and Brian Colonna who is bored but excited at playing an authentic fisherman playing an extra playing an authentic fisherman. All are making small talk to kill time during the No’s being filmed. Occasionally they will break the fourth wall to use their knowledge about movie-making to explain to the audience some function of their job or some juicy gossip about some of the people involved in this shoot. With the use of clever drop down microphones and props, they add the trademark comic enlightenment and trivia that makes a Buntport show the joy and learning experience they always are. 

The fifth member of the troupe – SamAnTha Schmitz – provides the skill to keep all the jokes rolling that depend on sound effects, music, lights and, in this case, props swooping down from the ceiling. Hers is no small task, but she is a pro. Everything always runs so smoothly that you tend to forget her crucial role. It’s also fun to know that Diana Dresser (noted local actress known for Creede and Denver Center productions) provided all the recorded “No’s.”  

This bored group of seasoned movie artisans take great pleasure in sharing their hard-won knowledge with the newby extra while he is most concerned about whether his (real) hat looks like a “real” fisherman’s hat and his walk looks like a “real” fisherman’s walk. He spends the greater part of the evening practicing his walk and ends up walking like the Munchkins from THE WIZARD OF OZ. A conversation about the physical attributes of Ms. Garson end with a contest about alternate titles for this little gig. Which would be better – The Falsie Fiasco or the Decolletage Debacle?? But both men agree she is indeed something to look at. The morals monitor begins to loosen up from her normal strait-laced self and share stories of her own part in the process. By evening’s end, they have bonded in boredom. 

An opportunity to watch a new show (or even an older one reproduced) at Buntport is a sure guarantee of fun. 

A WOW factor of 8.5!! 

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