You do not hear much about “deicide” these days. After all, America is a very religious country; churches, synagogues, mosques, and other assortments of temples and holy clubs clutter Google Maps. So the idea of killing God—well, that’s just not going to happen.
But what if your virgin little sister is about to be impregnated by your beer-swilling omnipotent deity? What if you’ve been given a sword with special powers? And what if that sword had already proven itself on the likes of Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, René Descartes, Martin Luther, and a couple of arch angels?
Would you be up for the challenge?
Well, if you are, you have A Beginner’s Guide to Deicide to help steer you through the possible mishaps, and it’s now playing at Baltimore’s Single Carrot Theatre.
In this world of Single Carrot meets Vampire Cowboys the zany and the ridiculous needs no explanation.
This is not your average show. Written by Qui Nguyen & Robert Ross Parker of NYC’s Vampire Cowboy Theatre Company, Deicide takes you into the world of madcap anime eclecticism. With a freewheeling comic book abandon, you will not only hear several satiric religious ballads and see a short anime about a fat kid, but also learn from Lucifer herself how to kill the Big Daddy.
Lauren Saunders plays the evening’s heroine, Lucy, aka Lucifer, and she does so with a great deal of smack, crackle, pop—and slash you with my sword–enthusiasm. Her energetic approach has plenty of levels, however, and a good deal of direct address, so the audience never grows weary of the style.
Her Lucy guides the audience on her journey to find God and slay him. Dressed–thanks to costume designer Heather C. Jackson–in an anime-like mini Catholic school girl skirt, Lucy with the cheeriest of grim determinations goes forth to find God’s secret hiding place.
She is not alone, however, as she has her side-kick and little sister, Mary. Mary, the science-head, is played by the multi-talented Britt Olsen-Ecker. She gives the geeky member of the family your typical funny walk and goofy expressions, but when the time comes to change gears and make demands of your super-heroine sister, Olsen-Ecker is up to the challenge. She also does a mean impression of a rock star.
Playing their chief antagonist is Chris Dews, who takes on the challenge of impersonating every great white man since the beginning of time. Dews’ performance is as over the top as it needs to be, as he quickly shifts from the likes of Darwin to Dante to a puppet Jesus all the while donning makeshift beards and funny hats. He also has a chance to play Joan of Arc, albeit in a short, short school girl black and white skirt in fierce contrast to Lucy’s red (for Lucifer) plaids.
Then there is Sean James and Jack Sossman, our two Vampire Cowboys, who do everything from ushering and season ticket selling to singing and set changing and arch angeling. And they do it all with the charm of two backstage grips who never knew a rush hour.
Director Elliott Rauh has gone rougher than rough theatre with this production. There is no hiding the mechanics of theatre here, and no attempt made to make sure things go right either, as props break and scene changes stumble as banners get hung up. Then again, maybe all of that was more the product of this preview performance than an intentional laid back aroma of “just alright by me.” Either way, it lent the production an appropriate underground feel: after all, any show that highlights the fact that God did not get Mary’s permission before violating her had better be underground.
The other aspects of the scenography were equally rough, from Michael Varelli’s sets to Samantha Kuczynski’s props and Natasha Nayo, Esie Cheng, and Alexa Macias’ Blue Ningja Video design.
Now, I could go into what this show all means, and to be sure Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung would have a field day, as Catholic school girl meets religious heroes while trying to save her virgin Mary little sister from her big bad daddy using her own big sword. But such an analysis would only be appropriate for a freshman lit class.
In this world of Single Carrot meets Vampire Cowboys the zany and the ridiculous need no explanation: just a willingness to abandon all hero worship.
Running Time: one hour and 45 minutes, plus a 15 minute intermission.
Advisory: Over the Top Content and Language.
A Beginner’s Guide to Deicide plays at Single Carrot Theatre, 1727 North Charles Street, Baltimore, through October 27. For tickets click here.