“The 666 Project” is unlike any other show at the Push Comedy Theater, where usual performances are mainly improv and sketch comedy, and have a casual charm completely worth the $5-$10 ticket price. “The 666 Project,” however, is a compilation of six Halloween-themed scenes, both comedic and dramatic.
During this annual show, the Push Comedy Theater has a change in not only in the tone of the written work, but also in the production value. I went to premiere of the show this past Friday, and from the moment I entered I saw signs more akin to a traditional play than the typical shows. Stagehands prepared to execute scene changes, the stage was already prepared for the first scene, and the cast was out of the audience’s sight.
I opened the program and discovered my typed name under the list of writers. The submission I co-wrote was chosen over a month ago and I had little involvement with the piece since production began. My stomach was in slight knots waiting for the house lights to dim. I was curious about how my written work would be portrayed, but in all actuality, my nervousness was rooted in the execution of the show as a whole. It is a difficult challenge for the directors and the producers to make “The 666 Project” cohesive when the show is an accumulation of six different scenes by completely different writers. This was not a sketch comedy show, in which each scene stands on its own. “The 666 Project” needed to have each scene connect and flow effortlessly with the others to capture the audience in the way they intended. To my delight, they blended the six works together impeccably into two hours of creepy and interesting amusement.
This show was first and foremost entertaining. It was a fun, eerie journey filled with horror themes, pop culture references, delightful characters, and the occasional scare. The production value was impressive and added to the entire experience. This added production value I mainly attribute to the unsung heroes of “The 666 Project,” the stagehands (Evan Grummell, Dennis Andrews, and Deb Markham). These black-wearing, Batman-like people worked silently throughout the show making sure every prop and piece of furniture was in place. This allowed the actors to not worry about practical issues and let them focus on giving the audience an experience. The actors performed excellently. All six of them had great chemistry and recited their lines seemingly without effort. Scot Rose impressed me greatly with his strong range of characters and ability to captivate the audience. Hilary Stallings also impressed me with her ability to keep one scene entertaining when she was performing on an empty stage for two minutes (two minutes doesn’t like much but in stage time that is forever) with no other actors able to save her if the scene began to go south. It was clear that the production team put in significant effort to make “The 666 Project” something worth seeing, and that effort resulted in a fantastic piece of art.
“The 666 Project” is an inventive production that was undeniably entertaining. If you are a lover of Halloween, comedy, or just plain old fun, go to this show. It was an enjoyable experience but what I loved the most about it was that it was a unique production. A play as original as “The 666 Project” is difficult to find and worth the money a person would spend on a ticket.