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Bullshot Crummond at Curtain Call Theatre in Monte Rio
Jake Hamlin, in one of his many roles, and “Bullshot” Crummond (Peter Rogers).

Review – ‘Bullshot Crummond’ at Curtain Call Theatre in Monte Rio

Jun 13, 2018
by Alexa Chipman


‘Bullshot Crummond’ is a campy spy thriller in the style of a 1930s serial, with sinister villains, a brilliant scientist, and over-the-top hero, who poses majestically at every opportunity. Professor Fenton has been kidnapped by cliché German agents, who are awaiting the arrival of their clandestine submarine. The legendary Captain “Bullshot” Crummond is summoned to prevent the nefarious malefactors from achieving their objective, perhaps winning the affection of Rosemary Fenton.

Bullshot Crummond (Peter Rogers) attempts to impress Rosemary Fenton (Nadja Masura)In what director Avi Lind calls “extreme farce” the actors trip over chairs, throw themselves onto teacakes, and hurtle through a hilarious high-speed car chase. The original production was conceived with flexible improvisation by Ron House, Diz White, John Neville AndrewsAlan Shearman and Derek Cunningham. This cast has made it their own, from Peter Rogers (Hugh Crummond) and his exaggerated eyebrows to Jake Hamlin, who portrays a plethora of characters with polished expertise. His long-suffering Waiter is a gem of comedic inspiration.

Interaction is heavily encouraged, garnering cheers and hisses from the audience at crucial moments. The xenophobic, rather misogynistic hero received as much enthusiastic booing as the conniving villain. Melodramatic reactions by the ensemble reach a level of excessive gesturing worthy of a silent film, accentuating the absurdity of classic pulp adventure plots.

Steampunk costume pieces of leather shoulder armor, clockwork designs, and decorative goggles add an entertaining visual, integrating with props like a skull Victorian telephone and ornate gold filigree pipe. Bill Young’s animated projections and sound design were slightly too long, but overall created intriguing scene transitions, such as the plane crash. He collaborated with Hamlin for the set design of panels that can be flipped in various patterns to indicate locations, which keeps the pace moving smoothly in parallel with the hectic storyline.

Otto Van Brunno (Mark Gregory) confronts Bullshot Crummond (Peter Rogers).

Join the adventurers for an evening with ‘Bullshot Crummond’ and boisterous participation in live theater. The humor is on the lewd side, so I would not encourage children to attend. If you enjoy raunchy entertainment with duels, intrigue and romance, Curtain Call Theatre is a prime summer destination.

Bullshot Crummond

Presented by Curtain Call Theatre through June 23, 2018
Fri/Sat at 8:00pm, Sun at 2:00pm

Russian River Hall
20347 Highway 116, Monte Rio 95462
(707) 524-8739

Photos by Dave Hall Photography

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