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Tabula Rasa Review of
Jonathan M. Vick's
Curse of the Psychotech

Rocky Horror mixed with Re-Animator with a touch of Young Frankenstein thrown in for good luck -- add some Spam and you've got a healthy serving of Jonathan M. Vick's Curse of the Psychotech, staged at the Acting Studio in July.

Curse of the Psychotech is a campy comedy about a mad scientist, his hunch-backed assistant, and a bunch of other people and people parts that literally ended up in the scientist's house. Nehemiah (Chris McLeod), the scientist, is more clueless than mad. His antics seem reletively harmless, until you meet Harvey (Jonathan M. Vick), who's no more than a head in a water cooler bottle. Other tenants include Dryfuss (Kevin Sario), the assistant, Lucy (Michelle D. Kill), the pieced-together-from-various-body-parts maid, and Kurtis (Anthony Michael Gobbi), the cative lab rat who Nehemiah and Dryfuss use for experiements.

Additional visitors to the house include Alicia (Megan Irelan) and Veronica (Andrea V. Bess), stranded travelers who go to the house for help; Hobart (Robert Paul Aulgar) and Christine (Sharon Dailey), burglars in search of loot; and Darius (Nick Buzzek),another mad scientist who wants revenge against Nehemiah.

The humor in the play is slapstick and corny. Jokes, such as electrocuting people in the closet every time the light is turned on, are funny for the first five or six times, but after awhile become mundane. The individual characters all have their idiosyncrasies and are presented well. We learn as much as we need, or want, to know about them so that their addition to comedy is appreciable.

The cast is talented and really seems to enjoy their roles. Most impressive is the performance of Kill as the maid. The role characteristically calls for an annoying, whiny vamp, but Kill is able to keep the part controlled so that the character receives the empathy, understanding, and support of the audience. Aulgar plays a similar role as the irritating Hobart, but unfortunately his whining crosses the line between humor and becomes just plain irksome. I looked forward to his demise.

In addition to a good cast, Curse of the Psychotech's basic yet appropriate stage design and props add to the buffoonery of the play. Harvey's voice echoing from a water cooler bottle is perfect. Christmas lights on a wall illustrate the electrical experimentations of Nehemiah and Dryfuss with fitting cheapness.

Curse of the Psychotech definitely gives its audience a good laugh. Although overdone at some points, it's perfectly lighthearted, without being too over-the-top cornball.