Whether you’ve ever fangirled over a pop star or rolled your eyes at those who do, Revisionary Theatre Collective’s Teenage Misery will entertain everyone across the board. Keith Hovis has written a catchy musical packed with dark comedy and just the right touch of camp.
Kelly Matthews plays Carrie Black who runs a fan club with her friends Whitney (Karissa Lade) and Harvey (Jake Rahier). They idolize pop star Shane West (Ryan London Levin) and can’t believe their luck when they hear that he’s performing one last time in Minnesota before he goes off to be in the Peace Corps. And he’s chosen Whitney for a pre-show meet and greet! When she tells Carrie that she’s taking Harvey with her, it sets Carrie off and the story takes many wacky turns from there.
We learn that Carrie’s two real best friends are “knock out drugs and chloroform” as she uses them to take Shane captive in her dorm room. Matthews has the perfect wild and crazy but confident look in her eye to be the ring leader in this situation. Whitney and Harvey go along with it but grapple with their consciences as things grow darker.
Whitney Rhodes and Adam Rice play dating couple Hannah and Richie. The show gets a little tongue in cheek as they admit to being aware that they’re “secondary and superfluous characters,” but it happens rarely enough that it’s humorous and not annoying. Hannah realizes she and Shane have a psychic connection and, with the reluctant help of Richie, sets out to find him and save him from captivity.
The rest of the show is unexpected and perfect, hilarious and disturbing… think of it as a teenage version of Stephen King’s Misery but with singing and dancing.
The small space of Sandbox Theatre provides a pretty immersive experience, but I never felt like there was a participatory element, and it was fun to be right in the thick of it. The show pokes fun at millennial entitlement and make us question, “What does true fandom really mean?” The cast is strong and I want to say it feels type cast but I don’t want to insult anyone! It’s a wild ride that I would happily take again, and you only have 2 weekends to see it.
Teenage Misery runs October 7-16 at Sanbox Theatre. Click here to purchase tickets.
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