By John Patrick Bray; Directed by Jerrod Bogard
Produced by Rising Sun Performance Company
Part of the 2015 Frigid New York Festival
Off Off Broadway, New Play
Runs through 3.8.15
Kraine Theater, 85 East 4th Street
by Sarah Moore on 2.22.15
Yair Ben-Dor as the Barker in Erik. Photo by David Anthony.
BOTTOM LINE: Erik is a silly and fun parody of The Phantom of the Opera.
If you’re looking for a way to take in the story of the The Phantom of the Opera without the Broadway price tag, you can check out the story of Erik, Raoul and Christine, downtown at the Kraine Theater, where Erik plays as part of the Frigid Festival.
Written by John Patrick Bray and directed by Jerrod Bogard, Erik is set up as a carnival freak show attraction called Human Oddities. The barker (Yair Ben-Dor) and Madam Giry (Destiny Shegstad) are our charismatic hosts.
Christine is played by the delightful Montana Lampert Hoover. She shares most of her scenes with the very funny Bryn Packard as Raoul. The character of the Phantom (whose name is Erik, if you didn’t know) is played by a clever puppet (Kervin Peralta). The funniest moments are in the true Phantom parody -- the scenes with Erik and Christine, or Christine and Raoul. A true highlight is the scene when the infamous chandelier falls.
The scenes with Meg (Samantha DeSimone) and Josef (Chris Behan), as well as the unnecessary character of the Detective (Matt Pepitone), don’t land as well. The story could use some sharpening to define its real focus, and to get read of the extraneous characters and plot-lines.
I also didn’t quite understand the purpose of the carnival framework. If Erik is a part of the freak show, that connection needs to be clearer.
The design is all cohesive and well done; the lighting is by Jak Prince, the set is by Jerrod Bogard, and the costume/make-up design is by Antonio Consuegra.
Overall, Erik is an enjoyable hour of the Frigid Festival, especially for fans of Phantom of the Opera who have a sense of humor.
(Erik plays at the Kraine Theater, 85 East 4th Street, as part of the Frigid Festival, through March 8, 2015. Remaining performances are Thursday, February 26th at 8PM; Saturday, February 28th at 5PM; and Sunday, March 8th at 1:50PM. Tickets are $10-16 and are available at horsetrade.info. For more information visit risingsunnyc.com. )