Theatre Review: More Serious Than I Was Expecting


kc-fringe-logo“The Slaughterhouse Opera”, written by Samn Wright and Erin Hartnett; produced by Slaughterhouse Opera (part of the KC Fringe Festival): seen July 20, 2012

When your plot mentions a cowbell pistol, your description indicates that audience participation encouraged, and you’re handing out kazoos, one could gather that you’re not exactly going into a serious drama. It doesn’t help that the beginning of “The Slaughterhouse Opera” starts off with a laugh as a man dressed as the stereotypical opera fat lady (including Viking helmet and braids) sings the first song.

However, “The SlaughterHouse Opera” quickly turns serious. Set in the zombie apocalypse, the show (co-written by and starring Samn Wright and Erin Hartnett) is about five survivors who each have a plan to save humanity. Both Wright and Hartnett were very good, and handled the couple of mic issues they had with aplomb and humor.

The music is very good, although there were at times it was hard for me to understand the lyrics due to the music being so loud.

My favorite has to be the song “Something About the Girl”, which has a tinge of Axis of Awesome’s “Four Chord Song” and Cracked’s “Trailer for Every Oscar-Winning Movie Ever” (it starts out, “Say Something Angsty, Overdramatic / Maybe Political or Tinged with the Tragic / Drop in a Metaphor: Star-fire Ocean / Just Make It Play”).

The metaphor of the zombies being ‘tamed’ by kazoos and having the audience use kazoos (and, of course, having the audience cheer and ‘support’ the bad guys) was as subtle as a brick, and the show lasted a smidge too long (and it even was shorter than the 90 minutes it was advertised as).

It was a good effort, and once I realized I wasn’t in for a comedy-filled piece of fluff I started to enjoy the plot and music. But in the end, I think this show needed to be marketed more like a drama and less like a comedy.

“The SlaughterHouse Opera” performs four more times during the 2012 Fringe, and tickets are $5. More information can be found at theĀ KC Fringe Festival’s website.

This review has been posted to the KC Stage review system. Agree or disagree? You can rate / review this show yourself (requires free registration) by going to (where every review gets you put into a drawing for prizes).

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