BY SARAH PETREA SCHULTZ
Bucket Brigade’s new musical, Big, Little Monster, brings an impactful message to the Art House North stage. Even in a zany world with kooky characters and topsy-turvy rules, everyone feels scared sometimes, and that’s ok.
The cast’s use of audience participation draws in even the most reluctant theatergoers. When a giant head of lettuce flies toward you, all you can really do is volley it into another row. And who could deny the flashy fright school faculty when instructed to repeat after them?
Noah Riemer’s music, arranged and played by Brian Lenz and Chris Erickson, matches the playfully vivid costumes and set. Two guitars carry the score while clean, catchy melodies help the audience sing along. From there, things get even more fun. A melodica signals the start of class. Kazoos join the mix. Larry the monster waves his hands between the antennas of a theremin, producing an eerie, swooping accompaniment. This two person band sounded anything but sparse.
Rounding out the four person cast, performers Jeremiah Gamble and Daniel Greco filled the space as well, compensating for their small numbers with enormous energy. Minimal costume changes and drastic vocal and physical effects keep a myriad of different characters distinct.
Big, Little Monster is a treat for all; young, old, and even in between. Tangle your fur, sharpen your claws, tune up your roar, and get your tickets!
Fridays and Saturdays, September 27th-October 12th at Art House North, 793 Armstrong Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55102. Showtimes are 7pm. Additional performances Saturday, October 5th and Saturday October 12th at 3pm, and Pay-As-You’re-Able Monday, October 7th at 7pm. Tickets: $20 Adults, $15 Students/Seniors, $12 Kids 12 and under. $5 off opening weekend. At www.bucketbrigadetheater.com or 800.838.3006.