"Kate and Sam Are Not Breaking Up"
The final "Twilight" movie came out a year ago. That's a lot of time in pop-cultural terms — we've moved on to the next juggernaut, yes? And yet the on-again, off-again romance between its stars is of great interest to fans invested in seeing this pair together. Consider an item I pulled off HollywoodLife.com on Monday: Kristen Stewart apparently wants to cook Thanksgiving dinner for Robert Pattinson, so ... good for them?
Why is it so important that their on-screen coupling continues off screen? None of this is rational. I think even the Twihardest of the celebrity obsessed would admit to that in the clear light of day.
Joel Kim Booster's satiric comedy from The New Colony dives head first into this psychological morass, mining it for laughs as well as its legitimate creep factor. The stars of a "Twilight"-esque book series-turned-movie franchise (Kate and Sam) have been kidnapped by a fan (Rob Grabowski, sweet and possibly dangerous). Naturally, he is a schlubby guy with a crummy apartment.
"My name is Bill," he fawns when Kate awakes from her drug-induced stupor. "We met four years ago at ComicCon." She stares at him blankly. "You signed a poster for me?" She is surly and intense, with a hair-trigger (a nice mix of acerbic hard edges and helplessness from Mary Williamson). It's a fine contrast to Sam (Nick Delehanty), who is good looking and mostly bland — what else is there to say about these types of guys?
A onetime couple while they shot the first films, Kate and Sam have since called it quits. (Booster's script is interspersed with brief but hilarious scenes from the movies, packed with overheated dialogue such as "I'm half-ghost. I don't need magic to outrun a mortal like you!" that director Sarah Gitenstein stages just perfectly under a black light.) Barreling into the mix comes a teenage superfan (Stephanie Shum), a friend of Bill's who views the abduction as a means to enforce couples therapy. What's so interesting is how the play navigates its way through the script's one-liners while maintaining a sense that something very disturbing is unfolding.
"It's starting to feel a little John Hinckley Jr. in here," Sam says at one point— which is a great joke and also totally not a joke at all.
Through Dec. 15 in the Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave.; tickets $20 at thenewcolony.org.
"Street Justice: Condition Red"
I will watch pretty much any '80s buddy cop movie you put in front me. The banter, the mismatched personalities, the cheesy bad guys, all of it.
Channeling "Lethal Weapon"-era Mel Gibson, co-writer and co-star Anthony Tournis goes full-tilt mullet in this homage to the genre. Loose cannon? Check. Straight-laced partner? Check. A mustachioed police captain forever riled up and clutching a cup of coffee? Check and check.
Soundtrack courtesy of Cinemax After Dark? Uh-huh. Women relegated to the margins? You bet. (The two female detectives are in fact much smarter than the men in the department, not that they get any credit for it — or even much stage time, for that matter.)
What's missing in this Factory Theater production (directed by Mike Ooi) is a little discipline. That's usually not this company's strong suit. Tournis collaborated with Colin Milroy on the script, and while their wild, loosey-goosey approach is not without its charms, the writing tends to be a little squishy where it needs to be sharp. This kind of show should be nailing jokes left and right. Instead, an impressive turnout of bad hair and '80s costuming is left to do the heavy lifting.
Through Dec. 14 at Prop Thtr, 3502 N. Elston Ave.; tickets $20 at 866-811-4111 or thefactorytheater.com.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun