Audience laughter wasn’t the only thing that was hard and extended in Wagon Wheel Arts’ Thursday night production of “Triassic Parq: The Musical.”
The show was full of hilarious sexual innuendos, double entendres and witty pop-culture references. But those additions came second to the commitment and determination shown by all of the performers in their individual roles.
Performance: Triassic Parq: The Musical
Location: Kenan Theatre, August 22
The musical follows an all-female dinosaur tribe through sudden biological changes, as T-Rex 2, portrayed by Jessica Sorgi, begins to grow what she describes as a large “grotesquity.”
The performer’s voice is strong and intricately feminine throughout the beginning of her role, but it becomes more carnal and dominating — paralleling the growth of her bodily addition from six to roughly 15 inches.
But Sorgi isn’t the only performer who stole the show. It’s obvious that Jackson Bloom, who portrays narrator Morgan Freeman in the performance, thoroughly studied the actor’s movies and idiosyncrasies, as his voice rises and falls with the same methodical, raspy-yet-comforting tone of the real actor. His character enters the stage in a janitor’s outfit, mopping the floor as an appreciated nod to Freeman’s role in “Bruce Almighty.”
All of the performers’ costumes were done with a dose of sarcasm and humor — the dinosaurs were decked out in combat boots, lace and neon-colored mohawks, which gave off a sexy vibe that fit the rest of the show.
The set was also well done without being overdone. The fence that surrounded the dinosaur theme park actually seemed to be rigged with electricity, and the lighting used throughout the production reinforced the feeling that the audience was actually just a stone’s throw away from the sexually charged beasts, without overshadowing the performers.
The minor roles within the production also firmly erected themselves, contributing to some of the heartiest audience laughs. Both the Pianosaurus, portrayed by Caroline Strange, and the Mime-o-saurus, portrayed by Mason Cordell, were genuine and valuable to the production’s laugh factor with their funny one-liners — by Pianosaurus — and exceptionally executed body movements by Mime-o-saurus.
All of the performers excelled vocally, but Jorge Donoso, who played the Velociraptor of Innocence, and Nilan Johnson, who portrayed the Velociraptor of Faith, delivered impressive vocal ranges and diversity, while also contributing a deeper message of community to the performance.
The performers executed the comical musical numbers with finesse and amazing stamina, while remaining in character and stoic to deliver relevant pop-culture jokes.
Overall, the show satisfied every possible desire and left audience members feeling filled by the bulbous amount of talent and wit.
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.