● Shawn Stalter, Chief Dallas/Ft. Worth Critic
“You hear him howling around your kitchen door. You better not let him in. Little old lady got mutilated late last night. Werewolves of London again” - Warren Zevon
In my estimation, any production which kicks off with a boisterous popcorn throwing-fueled singalong of a well-known Warren Zevon tune is worthy of an enthusiastic howl. So it was with Pocket Sandwich Theatre’s sensational melodrama “The Werewolf of London” by Joe Dickinson.
Inspired by the 1935 horror film, “Werewolf of London,” this action-packed story, set in London in the 1880s, explores the lamentable plight of renown botanist, “Dr. Ian Glendon.” “Dr. Glendon,” accompanied by several acquaintances, journeys to the far reaches of Tibet in search of rare botanical specimens. However, during this adventure, his party is set upon by a mysterious creature of the night. After returning home to London, “Dr. Glendon” undergoes several alarmingly transformative experiences.
Chock full of witty, rapid-fire dialogue and hilarious physical comedy, the cast and crew of Pocket Sandwich Theatre’s “The Werewolf of London” delivers an engaging and highly-entertaining show. Each member of this all-star cast provided the campy dialogue, hilarious absurdities and audience engagement, which make Pocket’s melodramas such a treat to experience. The lively audience not only seemed to love the story unfolding on stage, but also enjoyed pummeling the cast (and each other) with handfuls of popcorn throughout the show.
Taking the lead as “Dr. Ian Glendon,” Robert Long crafted a riotously funny physical performance. His devolution into madness was well-delivered and, at times, hilarious. Backing him on stage, “the Werewolf,” played by Travis Cook, packed a powerful punch with slashing claws, gnashing fangs and a wild snarl which dripped with enthusiasm and impressive theatrical effects. Patrick H. Douglass’s, “Faldor Khan,” the dark wizard which helps conjure the spirit of the wolf, oozed melodramatic evil. Beyond the sensational onstage antics and dialogue, the talented pianist Timothy Flippo conjured some wickedly dark tunes interspersed with heroic interludes. With the help of skilled lighting design by Nikki DeShea Smith, these elements helped round out the melodramatic aesthetic.
Overall, this is a fantastic show and the perfect night-about-town in Dallas for couples, families with older children or anyone looking for an excuse to howl, laugh and gasp along with fellow good-natured werewolf enthusiasts.
“The Werewolf of London” at Pocket Sandwich Theatre is directed by Daniel Baugh and runs through November 16th. The show features Robert Long as “Dr. Ian Glendon”, Bryan Brooks as “Li Tai-Po,” Rachel M. Carothers as “Mrs. Paddlesforth,” Travis Cook as “The Werewolf,” Patrick H. Douglass as “Faldor Khan,” Kevin Michael Fuld as “the Constable Denis Dougherty,” Lauren Hearn as “Molly Mapes,” Leroy Hood as “Paul Ames,” Shay McDonald as “Lisa Ashley,” Tom McWhorter as “Sir Henry Hobson,” Peyton Meacham as “Lady Millicent Hobson,” Kenneth Pursell as “Inspector Hugh Mortimor,” Shannon Rasmussen as “Lady Pamela Brittinham-Perth,” Chuck Barlow in the roles of “Mr. Burke,” ''Chimney Sweep” and''Undertaker,” and Staci Cook as well as Rhonda Rose as “Dora,``''Salvation Army Lassie” and “Flower Girl.”
Learn more about the Pocket Sandwich Theatre and reserve your seat for an upcoming show by visiting www.pocketsandwich.com/ or giving them a call at 214-821-1860.
Photo credits: Rodney Dobbs