HUDSON -- Even fictional characters are following the governor’s mask mandate.
As the characters file in for rehearsal at the start of The Phipps production of “Brothers Grimm: Out of Order,” they wear masks and get their temperatures checked, a reflection of our current reality.
With the COVID-19 pandemic ongoing, The Phipps had to do things differently with this production. All the actors were masked up, and the play premiered only to a small, in-person audience. Friday night’s premiere was a virtual one, with The Phipps hosting a Facebook watch party held to open the filmed production.
The change in viewing format does not take away from the enjoyment of the play.
“In Brother’s Grimm: Out of Order” the various personalities of a typical theater company are trying to stage a production -- two weeks early, without a script.
The Grimm brothers, the writers of the play, can’t agree on anything. One wants fluffy and light and happy endings, the other takes a darker approach with injuries and malevolence.
Alongside the convoluted story they create is a director who doesn’t believe in scripts, two prima-donnas fighting for the spotlight, a stage mom who is a constant presence on stage, two lovebirds in a quarrel and one stage manager who manages to keep it all together.
The future of the theater program is riding on this production. If it’s a success, they get a new auditorium. If it’s not, the whole program comes to an end.
It all quickly devolves into a chaotic, hilarious mess. Their struggles are to the audience’s enjoyment. Each gaffe, fight and mix up brings laughs as we watch the characters fumble through the combined script the Brothers Grimm manage to pull together.
The performance is a fun, family-friendly experience. For theater-lovers, it’s such a joy to be able to watch a performance again, even if it’s not from a theater seat.
“Brother’s Grimm: Out of Order” is available to watch on the River Channel and The Phipps Youtube channel.
The Phipps will be keeping theater alive with other modified productions as well, including limited-capacity, socially distanced audiences for “A Christmas Carol: Radio Show” in November and “Cinder-Elfa” in December.