INsite Magazine

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Answer the Call

As intriguing as the title is, the Hippodrome's new play, “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” offers even more mystery, suspense and emotion. The play mixes both light and dark themes, with an underlying humor in a morose topic. It focuses on the idea of memories and how we capture them in the digital age. Without recording things on paper, where do all of these words go?

“Dead Man’s Cell Phone” opens with a woman in a café who becomes impatient after a man’s cell phone continues to go off. The woman, Jean, becomes annoyed and confronts the man, Gordon, realizing he is dead. The cell phone becomes her connection to this dead stranger and her entry into his bizarre family.

All of the characters are eccentric with unique personalities displayed through their interesting costumes. Jean has a bohemian look with a long skirt and gold cape, whereas the dead man’s “other woman” has blue highlights, snakeskin leggings and a visible red thong. The wacky characters give the play life and offer a good mixture of comedy, satire and seriousness. Gordon’s mother (played by Sara Morsey) is one of the most entertaining characters in the play with her contrasting humor and funny lines, like “You’re very comforting; you’re like a small casserole.”

Throughout the first act, the mystery builds because Gordon’s identity and cause of death remain anonymous. His story later unfolds and he delivers a message about how technology and cell phones have destroyed the idea of privacy and life, which is ironic because his ringing phone continues to interrupt Jean’s life. “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” offers a different perspective about death and technology that can be understood by anyone, but it also leaves the audience with an entertaining story and memorable characters that make the play worth seeing.

"Dead Man's Cell Phone" is playing from Jan.6 to 31 at the Hippodrome State Theatre. Tickets start at $12 for students to $30 for the general audience on weekend nights. Call the box office for more information at 352-375-4477 or visit the Hippodrome's site

- Lane Nieset

First person to e mail wins two free tix to the show!

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