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The Artificial Jungle

From 113 member  reviews
Members say: Funny, Entertaining, Quirky, Clever, Delightful

About the show

Theater Breaking Through Barriers revives Charles Ludlam's comic noir, which pulls from works as diverse as 'Double Indemnity' and 'Therese Raquin' in its tale of love, murder, and piranha fish! More…

Chester Nurdiger lives in the back of his pet shop with his mother and his bored wife, Roxanne. One day, slick drifter Zachary Slade comes along and is hired to work in the shop. After sparks ignite between Roxanne and Zachary, they plot to murder Chester and feed him to the piranhas.


Member Reviews (113)

MEMBERS SAY:

Funny, Entertaining, Quirky, Clever, Delightful

50
Stylized, Tonally confused, Fluffy, Messy, Great puppets

See it if you like campy stylized shows regardless of how well produced they are.

Don't see it if you expect a well-paced, specifically directed show when you see a show that deals with heightened style.

60
Campy, Quirky, Slow

See it if you like over-the-top campy dark comedies with somewhat obvious plots.

Don't see it if you prefer subtle intelligent comedy.

During previews
69
Campy, Entertaining, Funny, Confused

See it if you like a campy mashup of Terese Raquin and Little Shop Of Horrors. Very funny at times.

Don't see it if the tone of the show is uneven. Sometimes very campy and fun and sometimes more serious & slow. Should've gone all campy.

Also Most of the fun (Little Shop) is in the first act. The break into the ... Read more Read less

During previews
68
Funny, Entertaining, Quirky, Disappointing

See it if You like silly over the top shows. Definitely has some laughs and was entertaining enough.

Don't see it if It's meant to be a campy show but this production restrains from taking the camp all the way. Wish they wouldn't have held back.

Also The show has the potential to be hysterical is the right hands. There ... Read more Read less

During previews
67
Ambitious, Clever, Disappointing, Dry, Slow

See it if You want to see what a Charles Ludlam play looks like when you take all the gay out of it. Interesting to see his work but lacks any camp.

Don't see it if You remember how much fun a Charles Ludlam play SHOULD be. Come on...not one drag queen?!?!

During previews
55
Slow, Disappointing, Banal, Earnest, Quirky

See it if you're a Charles Ludlam completest & want to see a rarely revived noir spoof from the Ridiculous Theatre Co. (Tho this is 2nd-rate Ludlam.)

Don't see it if you expect side-splitting comedy. This a slow, awkward, unevenly cast production of a show that likely wasn't that great the 1st time around

Also All of my points are given for the earnestness of the creative team. E... Read more Read less

During previews
60
Good performances. silly show.

See it if You like Charles Ludlam humor.

Don't see it if You don't like Ludlam's humor.

During previews
69
Admirable, Fluffy, Quirky

See it if you would like to support a theater company dedicated to advancing the work of performers with disabilities, performing admirably.

Don't see it if you expect a polished production of a Theater of the Ridiculous piece.

During previews
66
Silly, Campy, Quirky, Funny, Cartoonish

See it if you enjoy hokey shows similar to "Little Shop of Horrors' or 'Bat Boy," like the Ludlam/Quinton school of absurd humor; just go laugh

Don't see it if you only go to serious dramas or classics; this one is f-a-r from that...

Also Note this performing troupe includes unconventional, disabled actors; ... Read more Read less

During previews
61
Banal, Dated, A missfire

See it if David Harrell and especially Anita Hollander were very good. Set is fun. Seemed like it was written under a deadline.

Don't see it if This was neither funny nor ridiculous, just sort of stock skit comedy without any real laughs.

Also Why would anyone do a parody of Therese Raquine? Odd choice.

During previews
62
Great writing, Disappointing, Unidiomatic, Quirky

See it if you are interested in Ludlam's work but have never seen this play and are willing to put up with performances that don't match the material.

Don't see it if you want to experience Ludlam's play in a first-rate production that gets the tone and style just right.

During previews
60
Funny, Slow

See it if you are looking for a dark comedy

Don't see it if you hate slow pacing. Took a long time to get up and running, but the second act was better than the first.

During previews
66
Dated, Disappointing, Amateur

See it if A silly dated comedy is your thing.

Don't see it if You want a good evening out for shows like this don't deliver.

During previews
68
Truly mediocre, 2nd act improvements, Artificially ridiculous, 1 artful performance, Fab fish puppetry

See it if you want to support Theatre Breaking Through Barriers, a worthy group with an ethos inconsistently applied here.

Don't see it if you want to see a rarely-produced Ludlam satire/homage done with the bravura finesse of the original.

During previews
51
Ambitious, Dated, Funny, Great staging, Great writing

See it if you enjoy silly comedy. Charles Ludlam reached over the top with his Theater of The Ridiculous. This show barely reaches the top.

Don't see it if you are expecting a great adaptation of a Ludlam work.

During previews
65
Banal, Entertaining, Funny, Quirky

See it if You like a form of slap stick comedy. Some of the actors were good. The piranhas were entertaining.

Don't see it if you want a thought provoking show.

During previews
63
Confusing, Disappointing, Unimaginative, Too deadpan, Wooden acting

See it if you can look past the flaws and appreciate a play for one terrific scene

Don't see it if You remember the Charles Ludlam production.

Also Ludlam/Quinton were masters of the gender-bending gesture and of exagg... Read more Read less

During previews
65
Disappointing, Slow, Uneven

See it if you're in the mood for a spoof of film noir and/or Zola's "Therese Raquin"

Don't see it if you're expecting a show with a consistent style and pace and that is funny throughout

During previews
50
Disappointing, Earnest, Flop, Slow, Banal

See it if You don't mind earnest actors shooting for laughs and missing or you are curious about a lesser done Charles Ludlam play.

Don't see it if You are expecting a polished comedy or mind poorly executed gags or a set that works for the production.

During previews
60
Dated, Disappointing, Insipid, Overrated

See it if you like silly, sophomoric plays that look like they are being done by a bad high school drama class.

Don't see it if you want to see good acting (or any kind of acting at all).

During previews
69
Quirky, Slow, Funny

See it if you enjoy "comic noir", and slight camp.

Don't see it if you are expecting high camp, or don't have patience for a slow joke.

Also Great set, earnest acting, and a ridiculous/humorous plot. I just want... Read more Read less


June 12th, 2017
"It’s that touch of zaniness that’s lacking in this revival by Theater Breaking Through Barriers...Even under Mr. Quinton’s direction, the cast members strain rather than perform and don’t appear to enjoy a gourmand’s taste for riotous, yet disciplined, scenery-chewing. Ms. Chase comes closest wi...
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June 15th, 2017
"After wobbling in tone and pace, the production pops to life in its much briefer second act, a straightforwardly silly travesty of 'Thérèse Raquin.' Alyssa H. Chase plays a trashy Venus flytrap of an unfaithful wife—as though 'Little Shop of Horrors's' Audrey had the soul of Audrey II—and the ca...
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June 8th, 2017
"A riotous revival...Thirty years later, the play still feels subversive, witty, and even eerily relevant....Under the steady direction of Everett Quinton, the entire cast unflinchingly commits to each beat...Even when you're laughing at the suspense-genre tropes, you can't help jump in your seat...
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June 9th, 2017
“The production provides plenty of hilarity, thanks to Quinton's direction and a cast that knows that the surest route to big laughs involves playing this absurdly steamy melodrama for keeps…Quinton, who knows this property better than anyone alive, orchestrates the action with gusto…The director...
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