Juicy story of futuristic intrigue to be played out at Nightingale
By KAREN SHADE, 5/16/2005
Whatever images the name "Juicy Land," Joseph Gomez's latest theatrical offering, conjures in the mind, robots are probably not likely to be among them.
A presentation of the Fercocta Old Crow Players, "Juicy Land" is both "a musical and a comedy, with some tragic import," said John Cruncleton, who directs the newest show to the Nightingale Theater's stage.
The show about a futuristic rock 'n' roll scientist and his android creation Richard encourages its audience to watch with a sense of humor and open mind, but it's also a work taken from some heavy musing.
"It's kind of a hodgepodge of different things, maybe a lot of jokes I've had for a while in addition to subject matter I've been interested in for a while," Gomez said.
Recently, he has been reading about the "exponential timing of evolution and how it kind of predicts the time that artificial intelligence will exceed human intelligence at some point," Gomez said.
Cruncleton said he understood the playwright's direction.
"It sort of sets up an exploration of what is natural and what's artificial, and that nature of the material is highly artificial," Cruncleton said.
Some of the humor is supported from the irony that Richard the robot is more human in many ways than his creator, Johnny Eyeball.
But much of the humor springs from the play's structure. Gomez was inspired by "The Drunkard," the long-running melodrama performed at Tulsa's Spotlight Theater.
"It (melodrama) is so artificial and so full of cliches that it's almost stylized. A lot of the pieces that went into the construction of this work were kind of drawn from popular culture in a way that kind of reflects the flat cliches of melodrama. That stylistic choice kind of reflects this whole artificial intelligence thing," Cruncleton said.
Gomez also wrote the lyrics to the music. The music, created by Matt Leland and Chris Foster, spurs creator and the creation through their search for love in a hostile world.
Sexual imagery and gags abound throughout with numbers to songs such as "Booty Time." Gomez said the audience also is certain to notice a few shock elements in the show.
"While a few shock elements may be most memorable, it's my hope that some moments will go deeper, all the more so because they'll be unexpected amid the comedy," Gomez said.
If the show has its deeper undercurrents, they are offset by more obvious elements.
"There's plenty of lewd sexual humor to balance it out," Gomez said.
The cast includes Cassidy Barnes, Gomez, Kaycee Johnson, Matt Leland, Lynn Kelsey, Cruncleton and Natalie Clark.
"It's supposed to be a fun show. You're supposed to come and have a rock 'n' roll good time," Cruncleton said.
"I hope they (the audience) take away more than that, but as long as they're delighted and entertained, then I won't complain," he said.
"Juicy Land" will be at the Nightingale Theater, 1416 E. Fourth St., at 8 p.m. Thursday-Sunday and at 8 p.m. May 26-28.
Tickets will be $8 for adults and $6 for students and seniors.
For more, call Nightingale Theater at 583-8487 [As of February 2007, 633-8666].