Pills and Thrills

Kaboom is a far-fetched rollercoaster of crazy, unbridled Fringe Festival fun. But be warned; it tries its hardest to be offensive and would likely be disappointed if you weren’t. Written by Michael Small, who based much of his premise on the fifteen years he spent working for PEOPLE magazine, Kaboom is both a raunchy comedy and a pop culture commentary with the obligatory jabs at Hollywood’s most jabbable celebrities.

But at the heart of this madcap production is a more straightforward story about a barely competent scam artist named Rodney (Ray Wills) and his thoroughly incompetent stooge, Bobo (Jim Barry). Rodney’s latest ploy is to scam people into buying an extremely potent sex pill that may or may not deliver the advertised effects. His plans are foiled when Bobo accidentally sets fire to their secret warehouse destroying all but six of the pills. In order to recoup his losses before a loan repayment is due, Rodney must recruit an array of gullible individuals to help him build a pyramid scam that will generate $300,000 in one day.

These individuals include a bicycle delivery girl desperately seeking instant Idol like fame (Laura Daniel), a world famous Lithuanian kazoo player (John Di Domenico) a closeted gay television host (Tyler Hollinger), and a new-age yoga teacher (Kristen Cerelli) who spends her days meditating on finding a more endowed husband.

In Act One, a series of mishaps, misunderstandings and mistaken identities set the stage for an explosive confrontation in Act Two. Four characters that Rodney has been scamming in four different ways are all about to confront him at exactly the same time. Chaos and farce ensues. Rodney attempts to sooth one individual’s hysteria while hiding two others under the bed and beneath a pile of laundry.

Kaboom is supplied with a wonderfully animated cast, all of whom seem practiced and comfortable in the art of comedy. They have perfect timing for delivering a punchline and waiting patiently for the hilarity to ripple through the audience.

But most importantly, the actors seem to be having a good time with their roles. The production has an infectious energy, and feels very much at home in the New York Fringe Festival.

Kaboom is part of the 2008 New York International Fringe Festival.

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