Show: Jim and Dave (‘s Blood Meets Jupiter)
Company: Project 891 Theatre
Venue: West Stage of the Raven Theatre Complex
One might expect a play touted as a “Musical Outer Space Buddy Comedy of Intergalactic Proportions” to be a bit cheesy. And that would be before you realized that many of the main characters were puppets. It is true that “Jim and Dave (‘s Blood Meets Jupiter)” is a piece of campy hijinks, but it is not a low quality show. It is comfortable with what it is, and fully committed to being the randomly fun creation that it is.
Michael Rashid’s cast treats this new musical by Steve Clark, Kalena Victoria Dickerson, and Ed Plough, with respect and dedication, and as a result the play, which could easily be hokey in the wrong hands, comes out just shy of Muppet-esque brilliance.
The plotline follows two regular guys from Seattle (Jorge Jose Bolanos & Mike Mazzocca) who hang out at a bar called “The Whitehouse”. They are abducted by a pair of idiot aliens (Gabriel Fries & Pete Navis) who mistake them for the President and Vice President of the United States. The Aliens need the two humans to save the universe, or at least help the universe evolve to a higher level of existence. It turns out that most life-forms in the galaxy apparently don’t have thumbs. Thank goodness we humans have opposable digits! Once the humans (the titular Jim and Dave) get to the galactic council everything will be all right.
Along the way there are detours: the titular encounter with the sentient planet Jupiter, a stop or two to fix the ship and pick up friends, and a random dance party. And there are encounters with adversaries who have found their own bethumbed creature who could change the universe’s fate. Despite some weird goings-on, everything works out in the end, as one might expect from a musical comedy.
This play is still a little rough around the edges. It is clearly a work in progress, but the work doesn’t have far to progress until it is really sharp. A few of the lyrics could use some work, and the choreography could be tightened up. But all in all this was a fun couple of hours, and well worth the time spent.
Ten-Word Summary: Outer space musical with puppets shines due to committed cast.
Rating: d12 – “Heckuva Good Show”