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'Almost Crazy' brings comic plays to Kingman

From left, Raquel Williams, Angela Williams and Matt Jennings rehearse a scene from “Naomi in the Living Room.” A group of students is putting a free performance of several one-act plays this week in Kingman.

KINGMAN ­- A group of Kingman college students are bringing a bit of snarkiness to the area with the theatrical performance of "Almost Crazy."

"Kingman would really benefit from more theater, and there is an audience for something like this here," said Anna Jennings, a theater major at the University of Arizona in Tucson. "We're hoping to get this rolling into something bigger."

The play, which is a first for the group, will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday at Metcalfe Park, 315 W. Beale St.

Admission is free for the 45-minute production.

"Almost Crazy" consists of four one-act plays written by comedic playwright Christopher Durang, whose web site states he has written 1,455 one-act plays that can be called satirical, dark comedy and parody.

The acts are named "The Book of Leviticus Show," "The DMV Tyrant," "Naomi in the Living Room" and "Funeral Parlor."

"The Book of Leviticus Show" is a parody of religion, using the setting of a public access talk show to put Biblical laws into practice.

"The DMV Tyrant" depicts a customer struggling with a stubborn clerk at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

"Naomi in the Living Room" features a young couple visiting the husband's moody mother. And "Funeral Parlor" presents a man paying condolences to a widow in an unorthodox manner.

"The performance is called 'Almost Crazy' because each play has an outlandish character who is almost crazy, but not quite insane," said Jennings. "They're all funny acts but there's also a sad side to the stories.

"I really think people will enjoy them."

The students and actors are Jennings, Cherry Niel, Angela Williams, Kevan Grenda, Matt Jennings, Spencer Vandeveir and Raquel Williams.

Vandevier said he decided to participate after Jennings, whom he performed with in the Kingman High School drama program, shared her dream of theater in Kingman with him. Vandevier will be attending Santa Fe University of Art and Design in the fall.

"Anna picked a great writer," said Vandevier. "He has dark humor and I think that will go over well in Kingman.

"Some of these acts aren't politically correct, like 'The Book of Leviticus Show' is about gay marriage and how the idea that they should be treated different is foolish. We're not trying to be activists. We just want people to think while they're having fun."

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