Review | Two Mile Hollow: over-the-top, and thoroughly enjoyable

A co-production between Mu Performing Arts and Mixed Blood Theatre; at Mixed Blood through March 4

Sun Mee Chomet, Eric Sharp and Kathryn Fumie in TWO MILE HOLLOW. Photo by Rich Ryan.

Camp: when the process(es) of the performers supercede(s) the needs of the story being told.

By this definition, Two Mile Hollow – a co-production between Mixed Blood Theater and Mu Performing Arts (an arrangement one wishes more theaters would make), performing at Mixed Blood, through March 4) – is campy. There’s not much of a plot. Something about the return of the movie/TV star son with his luminous personal assistant, in the wake of the family patriarch’s death. The actors pose and preen and posture, relentlessly over-the-top and gleefully self-indulgent, throughout.

So. The question you must answer, dear reader slash theater-goer, is: is this my cup of tea? Do I like comically shrill performances? Do I enjoy camp?

If the answer is yes, then, oh boy, does Mu and Mixed Blood have the show for you. Two Mile Hollow. Written by Leah Nanako Winkler. Directed by Randy Reyes, Mu’s artistic director. It’s chockful of indelible images: the brittle, leather-leggings wearing matriarch (Sun Mee Chomet) shrieking, “I OWN YOU!”; the waifish daughter (Kathryn Fumie) lost in a goony daydream about becoming a bird; the screechingly depressed son (Sherwin Resurreccion) collapsing into a puddle of pain because he can’t have his dead father’s motorcycle; the cheerfully, in fact hysterically, self-centered and egocentric visiting movie star (actually a TV star)(Eric Sharp).

And then the only “straight” character in the piece, the sweetly focused, multi-talented, ambitious actor’s assistant. Meghan Kreidler. (If you don’t fall in love with this woman you have serious personal problems.)

Okay. Two Mile Hollow is a touch long. After a while, many – though by no means all – of the jokes fall flat. The use of repetition – e.g., “NO NO NO”; “LOW LOW LOW” – grows, imo, tiresome. The breaking into song doesn’t, imho, drive the play anywhere. But if the play’s campy style is your slice of meat, you won’t be bothered by, or even notice, these problems. You’ll likely tell your friends:

Two Mile Hollow is great fun. Which it is.

John Olive is a writer living in Minneapolis. His book, Tell Me A Story In The Dark, about the magic of bedtime stories, has been published. Please visit John’s informational website.


2 comments for “Review | Two Mile Hollow: over-the-top, and thoroughly enjoyable

  1. Garethmetrics
    March 1, 2018 at 8:10 am

    John Olive, thanks a lot for the post.Really thank you! Much obliged.

  2. Tom
    February 18, 2018 at 10:38 pm

    While part of the audience couldn’t stop laughing, the other half squirmed. My family and I were among the squirmers. The actors did a great job and the staging was well done. The problem was the playwright. It’s a parody of a family descended from a rich and famous actor. The characters are all shallow, inane, overly profane, and immature. Most of the people who were laughing seemed to be young or gay couples. The parents in the audience who have dealt with children for years would not find humor in that immaturity. It wears us out. The playwright does inject some philosophy in the only serious character, a young Asian woman, but it’s the eye-rolling philosophy of someone in their twenties. Unless you’re an Oscar Wilde, playwrights should avoid this until they are much older. Every young playwright deserves a chance, but they need to quickly learn from their mistakes.

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