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ROGUE REVIEW: ‘Magical Mystery Detour’

photo (6)It’s the end of Gemma Wilcox‘ “Magical Mystery Detour” and she’s standing at the top of a lighthouse at Land’s End. It’s actually a piano bench she’s standing on, but at this point Wilcox has pulled you in and it doesn’t matter. She is at the lighthouse and it is sunrise and and she is having realization.

She is both alone and not at all alone in this world.

And this whole trip she’s just taken, set in motion by her dead mother and without a boyfriend to help guide the way, it has put her exactly where she belongs. “I am right here,” she says.

And the lights dim and it’s totally zen.

At its heart, “Magical Mystery Detour” is a one-woman road-trip play, which sounds odd, I know, but it delivers on its promise. It’s wacky and fun with just enough emotional kick to keep it  …  “cultural” let’s say.

Wilcox takes on all roles here (more than 25 according to her press. That seems right, though I didn’t count). It’s an odd lot. There’s a wise, winking owl and a genie that lives inside a Neti pot. “You swish and wish.” There’s a lecherous tree and a pair humping dogs. There’s her Scottish automobile and a penny (yes, a talking penny) and a time-traveling fly that convinces the audience to happily eat sh … the stuff flies eat.

Those are just the non-human characters.

The fact that Wilcox’ is able to pull this all off with no costumes or props and have it come off as completely entrancing is a credit to her acting ability. You can understand why she’s gets so much praise at these types of festivals.

Show info: 8 p.m. Tuesday (this is a secret show that didn’t make it into the official schedule), 8:30 p.m. March 8, 5:30 p.m. March 9, The Severance Building. 1401 N. Wishon. Rating: PG-13.

Responses to "ROGUE REVIEW: ‘Magical Mystery Detour’"

Stephen says:

Mr Tehee, a question – did you find this review hard to write (ie, hard to find the words?).

You are a very good writer, I’ve just discovered (didn’t follow your blog too much, apologies). But her show has reduced many a great writer to difficulties with descriptions and adjectives.

You did a yeoman’s job with it (albeit with spoilers, sorta), but I’m still curious – was this one difficult?

Josh Tehee says:

Stephen:

As an answer, not too terribly difficult, no. In fact, the review sort of wrote itself as the show unfolded and by the time I sat down with it, I had it mostly composed in my head. I suppose it would have been more difficult had I tried to explain how she was able to transform herself into a car or fly or dog or whatever, but that never crossed my mind.

Stephen says:

Thanks for the answer, and in that case, I am uber-green with envy. Great writing isn’t always easy to come by, and yet, there you go.

Well done, laddy, well done.

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