BWW Reviews: DOOMSDAY REVUE – The Greatest Apocalypse Ever!


Tamarie Cooper’s magnificent production of her fifteenth annual original piece, DOOMSDAY REVUE (the greatest musical ever!), proves that Houston has a wealth of artistic talent. Moreover, The Catastrophic Theatre in coordination with Tamarie Cooperis stacked with innumerable bankrolls of local talent.

DOOMSDAY REVUE (the greatest musical ever!) takes audiences on a rousing quest for Tamarie Cooper’s legacy. It is the end of the world as we know it (and not all of us feel fine), so it is important that this creative spirit leave future civilizations with something that will let them put the pieces of current society together in an understandable way. After panicking like it’s 2012 instead of partying like it’s 1999, Tamarie Cooperand Patrick Reynolds(the writer of the book) introduce the audience to some incredible characters that deliver mind-blowingly fun musical numbers, which elicit thunderous applause and enthusiastic guffaws from the audience.

The star of the evening isTamarie Cooper herself. Carrying the audience through the apocalypse,Tamarie Cooper masterfully portrays herself at various ages in a series of hilarious vignettes, truly delivering a wonderful romp through the discovery of the self and the end of the world. She serves as the magnanimous guide through her desperation for affection from a senior at her high school, an exploration of how Barbie has taught generation after generation of children about sexual intercourse, and madcap hypotheticals that involve the Mayan calendar, nuclear bombs, a meteor, a comet, the four horsemen of the apocalypse, the evils of gay marriage, musical theatre zombies, giant cockroaches with a special talent, and a dancing cupcake.

Kyle Sturdivant really sparkles asTamarie Cooper’s costar in the show. He portrays a handful of characters; yet, his portrayal as Teddy J. Bear and Death are sure to leave the audience rolling on the floor.  Kyle Sturdivant is perfectly derisive when needed and has extraordinary control of his facial expressions, which aides in his ability to really induce peals of laughter with the simple movement of an eyebrow or twitch in the corner of his mouth.

Moreover, Rebecca Randall’s Strawberry Shortcake, Greg Dean as himself, and John Dunn’s portrayal of a washed-up, proselytizing Kirk Cameron standout as particularly memorable characterizations and are worthy of mentioning as well. These actors and these roles easily provoke more than a chuckle.

Shanon Adams, Christine Arnold, Brandon Blaque, Ivy Castle, Dennis Draper, Xzavien Hollins, Jessica Janes, Elissa Levitt, Richard Lyders, Mateo Mpinduzi-Mott, Cece White, and Abraham Zeus Zapata are all widely talented as well, rounding out this amazing cast of skilled performers.

The music, all originally composed by Tamarie Cooper, Miriam Daly, John Duboise, Joe Folladori and Patrick Reynolds is catchy and enjoyable. So much so, that I wish these songs were on CD or iTunes, so I could listen to them again and again. Likewise, the assembled band, composed of Andrew Lienhard (piano), Chis Bakos (bass), Cathy Power (ukulele, flute, marimba, glockenspiel), Kirk Suddreath (drums, percussion), is brilliant—providing the actors with pristine accompaniment and underscoring.

Kirk Markley’s set is expertly designed. Like myself, many members of the audience instantly recognized and appreciated the use of the Houston skyline in silhouette for the show. Yet, the best part of the set is a fantastic surprise for those who attend the show. Keep your eyes peeled between “Arma-Get-It-On!” and “Welcome to the Post-Apocalyptic World.”

The costume design by Tamarie Cooperand Kelly Switzer is fantastic as well. Whether it is being used to remind the audience of late 80’s fashions, capturing iconic dolls perfectly, or introducing the audience to a zombie-fied Little Orphan Annie, each piece is wonderfully designed and tailored for the cast member who wears it.

With more wit and humor than Flight of the Conchords and Girls combined, this show would feel perfectly at home on HBO. (Seriously, how does Tamarie Cooper not have her own HBO series?) This delightfully humorous and zany production will leave audiences smiling and with aching sides.

If you’re ready to abandon all hope for a perfectly dull night at the theatre with a perfectly nice little production of some lame and tame show, enter the DiverseWorks Art Space and enjoy this year’s Tamarie Cooper extravaganza. Complete with a dancing cupcake and the Whore of Babylon, DOOMSDAY REVUE (the greatest musical ever!) runs from now until August 25, 2012