Jaws: The Parody, LIVE! @ Magic Smoking Monkey Theatre

Jaws: The Parody, LIVE! @ Magic Smoking Monkey Theatre


When St. Louis Shakespeare spawned Magic Smoking
Monkey Theatre, single movie parodies were the mutant offspring’s bailiwick. Eventually, the Monkeys set their sights on
complete sagas, such as “Star Wars,” and “Harry Potter.” These large-scale efforts could be problematic. Reducing a movie to a third of its length
is one thing. Reducing three seasons of “Game of Thrones”
to a 30th of their length is another. I was happy to see the Monkey focusing once
again on one film in their latest venture, “Jaw: The Parody.” It was vintage Magic Smoking Monkey, in part,
because “Jaw: The Parody” did not bite off more than it could chew. If you think I reached too far for that joke,
Magic Smoking Monkey Theatre may not be for you. If you appreciate a groaner or two or twenty,
you should put the Monkeys on your map. To be fair, Monkey humor is usually more sophisticated
than the sophomoric antics that are all you laugh at if you don’t know the underlying
material. I have always found that familiarity breeds
respect at a Monkey show, so I streamed “Jaws” just before I went to the parody. I’m glad I did. Here’s example of how adroitly the parody
undercuts the original. One of the movie’s most significant scenes
is when Mrs. Kintner, the second victim’s mother, blames Chief Brody for her son’s
death because he took no action after the first shark attack. This humiliation is the key motivator for
the water-fearing chief to do whatever it takes to end the threat. The Monkey version turns the verbal assault
into a physical beat-down. If the slapstick weren’t enough, the Monkeys
further undermine the seriousness when Mr. Kintner asks the chief if their poker game
is still on. This is a typical Monkey strategy: stick close
to the actual dialogue until you have a chance to subvert it with a joke from left field. The leads in the movie were nicely recalled
by Ryan Glosemeyer’s earnest Chief Brody,
James Enstall’s frenetic Hooper, and Rob McLemore’s unflinching Quint. A ton of bricks would have been more subtle
than Dylan Comer’s Mayor, but who cares about sublety at a Monkey show? Cast members who got into the swing of things
included Jake Blonstein, Cece Day, Jack Janssen, Maya Kelch, Deanna Massie, Bethany Miscannon,
and Shannon Nara. The monkey business was enhanced by costume
designer Kayla Lindsay, lighting designer and scenic painter Natalie Piacentini, Sound
Designer Anthony Elliott, and props designer Jaiymz Hawkins. Putting actors inside the yellow barrels during
the shark hunt was one of many clever touches from director Donna Northcott.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *