Matthew Robinson is in rare form Oliva Wilde Does Not Survive The Apocalypse, is a smart well-written post-apocalyptic farcical comedy that delivers gut-busting laughter from start to finish.
Oliva Wilde Does Not Survive The Apolcalypse
Written by Matthew Robinson
Directed by Robby DeVillez
Venue The Complex Hollywood (Ruby Theatre )
General Admission $15.00
Run Time 75 mins
Tickets at http://hff19.org/5611
Let me set the stage for you, a literary drudge of a director and struggling playwright Victor Montgomery(Sean-Michael Bowles) and top Hollywood starlet and A-list movie star Eva O'Sullivan(Emile Martz) both decide to be test subjects in a scientific experiment which is studying the efficacy of cryogenic freezing. The goal is to put them both asleep and in "hibernation mode." for one year.
The former is accepting this job due to issues regarding a lack of incoming cash flow, the later trying to escape a horrible PR nightmare involving an unfortunate accident with a Make-A-Wish Kid.
The experiment goes off without a hitch, and Victor and Eva awake from their stasis whole and healthy, but they find they were asleep a little longer than anticipated. Three hundred years to be exact, the year is 2319 America has become a barren wasteland the result of a global nuclear war in an earth-shattering catastrophe. Los Angeles is now a mutant-infested wasteland ruled by the iron fist of a tyrant named Rodeo(Francesca Manzi) alongside her steady right hand Abbot Kinney(Asia Pitts) whose quippy remarks are delivered with a charming southern accent. Pop culture is still as relevant and on the forefront of everyone's mind but not as you think, the world lost most of its literature, history and art during the great war and were left with nothing but movies and tabloid magazine to reshape their culture. The chosen form of worship and ruling religion throughout the land sanctifies Olivia Wilde(Tron, BookSmart) who they worship as their divine.
Eva and Victor are picked up by rouge revolutionaries Chandler(Chelsea Langenderfer), and Marcus(Everett Dailey) under Chandler's rough and tumble, shoot first ask questions later leadership, she guides a small but fierce resistance force in an attempt to overthrow and fight back against Rodeo and her fascist government regime, They are also punished and for their beliefs due to them choosing to pray o different pop culture icon, one of much a fiercer variety.
Unfortunately, they are overwhelmed and captured by wickedly smart Rodeo who like any good evil leaders knows she needs a way to keep the proletariat's under her thumb. The evil plan is to use entertainment to keep the masses under control, and with her latest group of prisoners she now has an ensemble to do so. She goes on to force the only remaining people on the planet with a modicum of creative ability, the producer and actor respectively to put on a live production of Oscar Wilde The Importance of Being Earnest with their motley crew. Their cast is also joined by two other prisoners played by Chris Bunyi and Director Robby Devillez
Additional stress of losing their life is added to the newly formed troupe, by way of execution on live television for all to see , if they fail to put on an entertaining show for the people.
Nothing is off limits in this show, the effectual script and excellent writing take aim at post modernism, religion, pop culture, theatre, and political authoritarianism. I found myself laughing by every line delivered and having a smile on my face consistently throughout the performance.
The entire cast and crew perform their roles wonderfully, highlights for me are Langenderfer and Pitts who brought such authenticity and personality to their parts.
I also want to give praise to costume/wardrobe designer Alessa Willis for outfitting the crew in their Mad-Maxian glory, I particularly enjoyed the great attention to detail to the weapons crafted for the show.
My only critique is that I wanted to see more! Robinson has such a knack for world-building that, I was caught a little off guard by the somewhat abrupt ending, I would be interested in seeing this as perhaps a full two-act play or in a medium beyond.
Overall the entirety of this show is a triumph, this was perhaps the funniest show, I have seen at this years Hollywood Fringe Festival. It is such a clever and unique take on the post-apocalyptic genre, and it is a show I defensively recommend checking out.
Hollywood Fringe 2019
Mike is checking out the following shows.