Bad Dog Theatre presents Moonstruck, a sketch comedy show that takes its inspiration from an audience member’s dream. The cast ask some questions about the dream, gathering material, and then, posing as super-scientific dream analysts, they proceed to interpret the dream—each adding some hilarious bit of symbolic mumbo-jumbo or psuedo-Freudian nonsense.
At the performance I attended, the dream involved a little girl being chased around a mall by her murderous mother—wielding a frying pan with a piece of broccoli—and ending in a glass elevator. The analysis session conjured facetious deep truths about glass ceilings, feminist role models and vegetables as the ultimate villains.
From there, the sketches began.
Moonstruck is directed by Paloma Nuñez and features Nuñez, Jess Bryson, Jess Grant, Ken Hall, Sarah Hillier, Andy Hull, Kevin Whalen and Sean Tabares. Though I wasn’t entirely on board for all of the sketches, I do really like this ensemble’s energy. And though not all storylines aren’t are consistently funny or compelling, each performer creates vivid, clear characters.
A highlight for me was an intervention for America. Hall is perfectly gruff and endearing in the role of America, with the rest of the cast playing personified versions of other countries who, finding him drunk at a bar, are quite concerned for his well being. America, we realize, isn’t doing so well. Battle Hymn of the Republic figures prominently, with some very funny lyrics listing a series of ridiculous “Rules of America.”
Nuñez as Mother Earth, ready to kill to become the “new America,” is a pretty hilarious bit of absurdity. And I think that’s what I appreciate most of all—that absurdity. As disparate storylines merge, reality shifts and pivots into place, dragging us into a warped, fun-house version of a plot. And it’s kinda magical.
This being improv, the specifics will be different for each performance—new dreams, new characters, new bizarro storylines.