Under Professor Sandra Forman’s zesty direction, the student actors turn the first hour of this 2002 script into rattling good spit-and-spirit theater. The 95-minute work is by Theresa Rebeck and Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros.
It’s just post-9/11. Seven glitterati (some lampooning real world celebs) gather over gourmet grub prepared by domestic diva Suzie (Katie Kershaw, pictured). Back stories clash with present-tense politics in whiplash dialogue among a right-wing pop novelist (Johnny Kyle Cook), an effete English intellectual (Spenser Smith), a Westernized Muslim (Kyle Imbronyev), a vegan animal activist (Cindy Head), a black poet-academic (Jyreika Guest) and a hero fireman (Mike Meadors).
Then an Islamic terrorist (Matthew Kincaid) enters spraying accusations, and the whole enterprise goes to hell.
After an hour of sizzling ideas, the script unaccountably drifts into mush-mouth sentimentality and the production peters out in Twilight Zone oblivion. But those first 60 minutes are wowsers.
OMNIUM GATHERUM continues at Northern Kentucky University through April 3 in repertory with Top Girls (review here). Buy tickets, check out showtimes and get venue details here.