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Duck Hunter Shoots Angel



The Port City Players
The Seward Arts Council present

Duck Hunter Shoots Angel

by Mitch Albom

Runs Feb. 21 - March 2


Review By Robert Pond, 2-22-2013

Duck Hunter Shoots Angel is a little like the playwright Mitch Albom’s life.  Albom began as a youngster wanting to be a cartoonist, but he evolved into a journalist of some note.  He eventually realized significant success in writing books and reaching his breakout work in the memoir that reflected his college mentor in Tuesdays With Morrie.  This book by Albom was, with the help of Jeffrey Hatcher, made into the play version, and it then became a TV film starring Jack Lemon.  In Albom’s first try in comedy, Duck Hunter Shoots Angel, he may have returned to his initial wish to be a cartoonist – for the theatre.

Much of Mitch Albom’s creative writing seems to be attempts to approach the question of life, its meanings framed by gag humor, but not really expecting any answers.  In both Tuesdays With Morrie and Duck Hunter Shoots Angel, he uses, to some excess, narration on stage and voice-overs.   Director Doug Capra did well to corral the fragmented staging.  The meandering of actors before the first act and some in the second act were unsettling.    Mitch Albom’s characters in Duck Hunter Shoots Angel are very strange individuals who are not simply stereotypical comedy roles.  It’s vaudeville on steroids.  True to the author’s professional background, Duck Hunter Shoots Angel is journalistic but from a tabloid point of view.  The character role Sandy, played by Joseph Hewitt, appears to represent Mitch Albom.

The play is an outrageous story of two stumbling Alabama brothers, not unlike Laurel and Hardy, who are inept hunters and who believe they shot an angel.  The journey of the play is a chase of our hero hunters, Duane and Duwell by a tabloid jounalist and a doubting photographer.  Within the play, there’s a love story, bickering siblings, race relations and implications that hold the Southern swamp culture in a dim light; all this being framed by the meaning of life search.  Playwright Albom is suggesting that if an Angel did get diverted or fell to Earth, the underside of our culture would hunt that winged blessing as if the Angel was a mad dog.

There is a good time is being had by all the performers in this theatre cartoon.   Among those in this very energetic and impressive presentation, is Joseph Hewitt, who is new to theatre in Seward.  He is courageously playing Sandy, the narrator, the lover, and a Greek chorus for the rest of us, not an easy beginning for an actor.  As Isaac London played Lenny, he came as close to a character of full dimension as any of the performers in the play.  Then, there is the comedy team of Hank West as Duane and Robert Mackey as Duwell  (the Hank and Bubba show).  They are almost a stand-alone act, the Laurel and Hardy of the play.  Both give very entertaining performances.  Mr. Mackey’s particular gift is his look of complete wonderment at it all.  Kelly Smith as Kansas is very engaging on stage and Linnea Hollingsworth, in playing the Everywoman, shows how serious comedy can be.

The sets, lights, sound and costuming did well to support the production.   The alligator’s head was as mysterious as it was colorful.  The sound design was somewhat interesting.

Duck Hunter Shoots Angel, is outrageous and most certainly audacious theatre and it is certainly worth the trip to Seward to view unbridled but very entertaining theatre.  It will play another weekend and the special offer by the producers of play tickets, meal, and hotel package is hard to pass up.

2 Responses leave one →
  1. February 26, 2013

    I thought I would elaborate on the Duck Hunter Special we have for our out of town theatre lovers. For $100 you get a hotel room, two tickets to the show and a $20 food voucher for Genes Place. That is a $150 value for only $100. For reservations call Seward Hotel at (907) 224-8001 and ask for the Duck Hunter Special.

  2. robert henry mackey sr permalink
    March 2, 2013

    bubba is my son robert mackey but i saw the show and was very impressed ,im so proud of my son his acting ability is far above and beyond than i thought,he could possibly really amazed,the show was really great the port city players , pulled off a great show again,and what the do is for charity,that makes it a double win.

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