By Lydia Mwambi
Ride The Cyclone, now playing at Jungle Theater, is an imaginative, slightly eerie, and totally wild ride. Ride The Cyclone tells the tragic tale of six high school aged students from a small town in Canada, who are involved in a terrible accident. The students are all on a roller coaster together when it derails and they all die, coming to in a sort of limbo where hilarity and life lessons unfold.
In this limbo-like place the students arrive at, there is a mystical fortuneteller called Karnak (Jim Lichtscheidl), who informs the students that they would get to vote for one of them to go back to Uranium and live again. Now faced with an impossible choice, each of the students tells their tale through extremely unique and creative songs (Brooke Maxwell & Jacob Richmond) that paint a clear picture as to whom each of them truly are. In true amusement park style, helped along by the wonderfully imaginative circus themed set design (Chelsea M. Warren) and projection magic (Kathy Maxwell), we are treated to six wonderful performances that spare no expense to entertain.
First to perform, we have Ocean (Shinah Brashears). The “do it all” girl with a straight A report card and overly chipper attitude. Noel (Josh Zwick), otherwise known as the only gay in Uranium who believes he was born in the wrong place at the wrong time. Mischa (Michael Hanna), a Ukrainian transplant bad boy, with a secretly sweet heart. Jane (Becca Hart), a mysterious and eerie girl that none of the other students know, with a tragic tale that Hart performs extremely well. Ricky (Jordan M. Leggett), the boy who is very ill and cannot speak in the real world, finds his voice in this circus like limbo and shares his wildly active imagination with his friends. Lastly, there is Constance (Gabrielle Dominique). The overly apologetic one, Ocean’s best friend, and the nicest girl in Uranium. They have 90 minutes to decide who gets to go back, who is going to be?
As dark and tragic as it seems, only one of these six students will make it out alive at the end of the show. How they come to their decision is a wonderfully delightful mix of wacky, clever, tragic, hilarious, and all around entertaining storytelling. Ride The Cyclone is fun, funky, and fresh. It is a superb blend of comedy, whimsy, strangeness, and a hint of terror that audience members are sure to enjoy. I most certainly have never seen anything like it and highly recommend you get tickets to the show.
RIDE THE CYCLONE
Opening Night Saturday September 14 @ 7:30 p.m.
Audio-Described Thursday September 26 @ 7:30 p.m.
Closes Sunday October 20 @ 7:30 p.m.
Connect with the Jungle on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @jungletheater
2951 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis
Box Office: 612-822-7063 or www.jungletheater.org
Ride The Cyclone. Book and lyrics by Jacob Richmond & Brooke Maxwell. Directed by Sarah Rasmussen. Music Direction by Mark Christine.