Having worked with the Daniel Ostrander for a couple of years, I know how seriously he takes his dancing, DJing and his position at the Nagoya Players, the last community theater group in the city, one that spans over three decades. So I jumped at the chance to get involved with his next project, dinner theater…all I had to do was write a script in two weeks, how hard could that be?
For those of you that managed to get tickets to last year’s Murder Me Always, you will know that you got a dinner and a murder mystery at Shooters, the hub for budding creativity in Nagoya. This year, the Nagoya Players wanted to step it up a gear, so this time around you can get a three course dinner, two drinks and hopefully your fill of laughs, all for ¥4000.
My only experience with theater was avoiding drama students at university, so it may seem strange that I would put a play together; but pressure and a tight deadline meant that a script was born out of the most embarrassing and awkward experiences I have ever had in my life, most commonly down the pub with my mates. A lifetime of mishaps condensed into a tight 90-minute package.
The play follows a group of three lads venturing into an old pub for the first time, where they meet with racism, strangers in the toilet, illegal DVDs, sexy ladies and a mini-breakdown. It may not sound like a side-splitting, belly-aching, slapstick classic, but it is full of laughs, brought to life by the amazing cast, who are a mix of veterans in the field and spritely newcomers, with more passion than experience.
Biagio Cristiano is the belligerent barman, Cody Zies is the detestable Brian, Will Taylor is the down and out Tom, Justin Fiedler is the sarcastic and pessimistic Phil, Ian Roth is the loveably clueless Dexter, Ashley Ford is the shy and retiring Jill, with the jovial Lucy being played by Zahra Merchant and the sexy Sarah is being played by the equally sexy Aya Kawakami. Tam Young pops up as a shifty salesman and a hateful, mean and biting narrator will oversee the proceedings.
The narrator is a real piece of work, a character that exists in the liminal space between the play and the audience. He skips between the two, causing havoc and possibly a little offense wherever he goes. In the play, he can freeze the action, tap into the characters’ inner most thoughts, skip over boring conversations and even alter the narrative; which he allows the audience to have a say in.
At several points in the play the audience will be encouraged to vote as to what happens next, potentially altering the plot of the play. You won’t just be idly watching the story unfold in front of you, but it will be up to you to decide which way the narrative steers; so be sure to choose wisely.
The play will be held at Shooters on the 14th and 15th of July, both days having two performances, one at 2pm, the other at 5pm. Tickets are already running low, so be sure to track down the Facebook event page, or contact the Nagoya Players directly on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whether you come for the food, the drinks or a peek at an original script put together by the finest talent this city has to offer, you will no doubt have a great time; and by doing so you will be supporting another branch of the creative community that makes Nagoya the city to be living in right now. We hope to see you there.