Aztec Press - November 6-12, 2003

Anger Box brings humor and angst

Shaun Callahan
Aztec Press

The things said behind closed doors and stories, from heaven to hell, take center stage at Club Congress in Jeff Goode's new play "Anger Box." In a series of ten monologues, a different character covers a unique or shocking topic that challenges the mind and views of every kind of person.

The leading monologue, "Anger Box," played by Brendan G. Murphy, contains a man's grief with today's society and his disapproval with hate crimes being wrongly prosecuted to easily. The emotion of hatred and sarcasm this character releases is intense. His body language and physical presence truly fit the stereotypical white male he was likely seeking to satirize, with cigarette and beer can in hand.

Esau Eislope brought a bit of irony and religious comedy to stage with his performance of "Santa Worship." In this piece Eislope's character explained his change of practice from Christianity to "Santaism." These two religions are strikingly similar due to the bibles of each being identical except for word and phrase changes "good and evil" turning to "naughty and nice." The minister's voice completed the package with a combination of used-car salesman and Sunday-morning preacher's show on access cable.

The next monologue contained a woman's frustrations and joys of being sexually involved with the Devil himself, properly titled "Fucking Satan." Susan Arnold's character doesn't have the standard sexual relations one would think. Unfortunately, the secret is too extreme for the pages of this paper. All that can be said is that a catcher's mitt will never be looked at the same again.

If you've ever wondered what may happen to you after death, you'll most likely enjoy Brooke Davis in "Charon." Davis's character comes to stage in the classic diner dress of a waitress. Apparently, after you die you're transported to a diner located between heaven and hell. While waiting for judgment, you have the choice of your last meal and then you're on your way to the top or the bottom of life's totem pole by luck of the draw.

Following a brief intermission, the comedy comes back in full force, all thanks to a six-foot-tall man in drag as "Nike, Goddess of Victory." David Morden's performance is flawless. His character had the voice of a tired diva who smoked far too many cigarettes, with a bit of Joan Rivers's flair. Nike compared herself to Britney Spears and Jesus in almost the same sentence, then talks of how God was a better promoter than she, and how His time will come just like all the gods and goddesses before Him. Nike also took time to bash the shoe company that shares her name.

One of the most bizarre and shocking monologues of the ten was Jenny Bazzell's performance of "Popophilia." Jenny played a young woman, not much older than 18, planning to save her virginity for the Pope in hopes of the two of them creating a holy child.

In between her religious reasoning and chomping on her bubble gum, she pushed the comedic envelope regarding Catholicism's and Christianity's past confrontations with those who believe otherwise.

Performances of "Anger Box" will be on November 6-8,12-13 and 15 at 6 p.m. Tickets cost $15 and can be bought at the door but can also be purchased via phone (792-6590) or e-mail