Head Crazy Brain Girl Theatrical Ensemble at the Miracle Theatre through July 13

The Gunhappy Theatrical Ensemble is an offshoot of The 3rd Floor, the sketch comedy brainchild of Kevin-Michael Moore, Ted Douglass, and Loren Hoskins. With classic skits such as The Clark County Fair Boundroller Skating Sance Troupe and the Life and Times of a Credenza (my titles, not 3rd Floor's), the group has always propagated a highly theatrical (not to mention extremely hilarious) style of comedy.

With HeadCrazy Brain Girl, they have taken this style to the next level, fleshing out their ideas and characters into a full-length play. The result is exactly what one would expect such an experiment to be: a string of sketch comedy style situations connected by the loosest of over-arching dramatic threads. In short, Brain Girl is barely a play, but that fact does not rob it one bit of its enormous fun factor.

Brain Girl's muddled story revolves around the diabolical schemes of Dr. Richard Soapstone (Tony St.Clair). Soapstone discovers how to bring a corpse back to life, only to watch his creation rip his wife's head off before he can kill it again. To cope with his grief, he brings the decapitated head (Jordana Barnes) back to life, then spends the rest of the play trying to pull in a still-living woman's body to attach it to. Meanwhile, out on the sea, Captain Evis Libberteene (Erik James), his daughter, Libby (Deanna Wells), and Libby's boyfriend, Gig (Andy Buzan) are in pursuit of Dr. Soapstone, drawing nearer all the time.

It all culminates in a climactic showdown between good and evil, though the outcome is hardly important, or even interesting. What lingers when this play is over are not the intentionally unoriginal plot lines (the show is a wickedly accurate ode to hackneyed 1950s-era television camp), but the funny, offbeat characters. Buzan is perfect as a wide-eyed "geewillikers!"-spouting Wally Beaver clone, and St. Clair hits just the right note as the dry, sinister Dr.Soapstone. Plenty of pointless, yet amusing side characters drop by as well, including Andrew Harris as Soapstone's disturbingly waifish sidekick, and Kevin-Michael Moore himself as the hapless drug addict, Manny Marssalis.

It's silly, it's stupid, it adds up to nothing of consequence, and it's a whole lotta good, clean fun. It's just what a play called Head Crazy Brain Girl should be. JUSTIN SANDERS

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