Theatre Review: “Truth is What We Say it Is: That’s Journalism.”


kc-fringe-logo“Hexing Hitler”, written by Bryan Colley and Tara Varney; produced by Ouranga (part of the KC Fringe Festival): seen July 22, 2011

“If I’m going to do this thing, I’m going to do it drunk.” So says author William Seabrook, played with panache by Kipp Simmons in “Hexing Hitler”, written by Bryan Colley and Tara Varney – authors of last year’s Fringe favorite “KHAAAAAN! The Musical”.

The story is about five people in 1941 that gather in a remote cabin to put a curse on Hitler. Kudos on the authors, as the research (both on the actual event and in the witchcraft ideas used) is very well done, although I wondered why there was no mention of Hitler’s own supernatural beliefs – as his fascination with the occult was near legendary. There’s a lot of exposition given in the first part of the story, but it’s done in a fairly entertaining way to where you don’t really mind being spoon fed a bucketful of information in such a short period.

The star of the show ends up being Melody Butler as Ruth Birdseye, a young debutante-style lady who is used to getting what she wants, and thinks this is all a lark – until the concept of what they’re trying to do finally overtakes her. She started out a little too over the top, trying too hard to be the social butterfly, but as the story continues, she really starts to shine. It helps that Simmons has great chemistry with her.

Doogin Brown, as Birdseye’s intended romantic entanglement for the evening Richard Tupper, plays against Butler well, making what ends up to be a struggle for power and attention between the two one of the highlights of the show.

Parry Luellen as photographer Tom McAvoy does a good job of playing the distanced journalist, not wanting to be a part of what is going on but still being entangled in it. And the props person in me squeed at the old-fashioned camera they got for him.

Sarah Mae Lamar as Constance Kuhr, girlfriend of Seabrook, is probably the weakest of the batch. Her portrayal of concerned girlfriend, constantly harping on Seabrook’s drinking, came across too rehearsed. Her acting was off the mark, and the show slowed down considerably whenever it was just her and Seabrook as a result.

The show was uneven at best. It wasn’t a bad show – and had some really good bits and lines. But it wasn’t outstanding either.

“Hexing Hitler” continues for six more performances, and tickets are $10. More information is available at

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