The weekend was such a whirlwind of craziness, I completely spaced which night I was supposed to view "Hunk-cules." I must commend Desert Star for their willingness to work with me on my spacey-ness; luckily they were able to procure two tickets for Saturday night, when I thought I was supposed to attend.
Even though I was sitting at a table for four instead of the usual table I get for two, I actually preferred the bigger table, where I could chat with other guests and get their thoughts on the show. The couple seated next to us were Desert Star season-ticket holders and have been for years. Season tix keep them from having an excuse not to go out for the night, and they're not the only ones who are hooked on the Desert Star. The theater is filled with regulars.
Opening weekends are the best times to see Desert Star plays. The actors are still a bit shaky with their lines, causing them to ad-lib and play off each other more frequently. Hunk-cules wasn't an exception. I think that is one of the things that makes Desert Star so endearing. The actors have a blast onstage and their enthusiasm infects the audience.
Hunk-cules mirrors the well-known myth. Hercules falls in love with a princess and must perform three acts of courage to win her hand in marriage. Hercules (Rick Miller) was all brawn and no brains. Even though he was the beefiest guy around, he definitely could have benefited from more frequent, meatier lines. Because of this, the limelight was snatched by the antagonists of the play.
In fact, the one who stole the show for me was Prince Diaredes (Justin Berry). Not only did the crowd get a kick out of his performance, but at one point he had the other characters onstage doubled over in laughter. He was so expressive and fun to watch that my eye was continually drawn to him--quite a feat when you have eye candy Hercules to compete with.
The play featured Desert Star's usual jabs at LDS culture, but they had even more swings at men and their incompetence. Jokes were a little bit more corny than usual, but I soon forgot that when one of the characters burst into one of my favorite songs from the movie Yentl. It's amazing how they draw from so many different areas of culture, but that is the perfect solution to have everyone feel included.
Make sure to stay for the Olio at the end if you never have. I missed it for Goldilocks and the Three Amigos, but they perform a few fun songs and interact more with the audience.
If you're in the mood for something different, clean, and wholesome, check out Desert Star. You'll leave happier than when you came.