Spotlight on Lake
Friday, September 5, 2014

Irreverent Comedy "Witch Slap" will definitely Tickle Your Funny Bone

Fri, 09/05/2014 - 23:44 laughingcat

The Crone (Kimberly Logan) is sitting on her stool, cuddling her cat (making the legs, tail, etc. of a stuffed cat move), and stirring something in her cauldron when her apprentice, Novella (Loren Jones), comes flying in screeching about witch trials in town. Novella is a terrible apprentice witch because she doesn't study. It is only when another witch, Jezebella (Alison Dornheggen), comes over that the Crone starts to take the threat seriously.

Just about then, Goody Blunt (Morgan Manasa) bursts through the door making wild (?) accusations about witchcraft and some dying cows. She's also got a problem with her husband making eyes at Jezebella and not at her. The Crone diverts her attention with a love spell for her husband whereupon she hurries home.

In response to the Crone's call for help, a glamorous witch called Minerva (Stefanie Johnsen) arrives to help. Jezebella hates Minerva who was her mentor when she was an apprentice. She zaps her, gets zapped back, and the fight is on! Their zapping duel is interrupted when buckskin-clad, rifle-toting Widow Gumdrops (Jennifer L. Mickelson), the richest woman in the county drops in. When the widow gets annoyed with Minerva's screeching, she shoots her. Minerva doesn't stay dead long, becoming a zombie at the Crone's command.

Shortly thereafter, Goody Blunt runs in screaming that her husband was dead. Since her apron was covered in blood and she was carrying a bloody hatchet, everyone assumed she'd killed her husband. This impression was reinforced by her daughter, Sylvia (Patti Moore).

There are several very physical, well timed and choreographed altercations during the performance. I was amazed at how easily these women could take a ball, but when I read in the program that Jones has been a stunt performer, I realized that some of them were professional fall-takers!

When I imagine the gingerbread house which belongs to Hansel and Gretel's witch, this set could superimposed on that image. I particularly loved the copper kettles and pots.

"Witch Slap" runs through September 20th at Raven Theatre West Stage, 6157 N. Clark St., Chicago. Running time is just about 2 hours including a 15 minute intermission. Performances are Thursdays and Fridays at 8:00 pm, Sundays at 3:00. Tickets are $20. Free parking is available in Raven's adjacent lot. FYI (773) 904-0391 or