Review by Sabrina Bowman
63 minutes | A Comedy Experience | PG
Photo Credit: Andrew Alexander
Pick Your Path is an interactive play based on the Choose Your Own Adventure books that were popular in the 80s. In those books, you’d often be asked to make one of two choices, both of which would advance the plot – possibly leading you to either do something heroic or, on the other hand, get eaten by dragons.
This audience-participation piece revolves around the story of Princess (her actual first name) Subermen, a space cadet who – according to a mysterious prophecy – is the only one who can save the world. Everything on earth is governed by the use of lasers, and Princess wakes up one day to find out that laser-resistant aliens are invading the planet. She reluctantly trains to stop the aliens, a process which involves drill-running, flower-arranging and warm baby bear urine.
Princess, played in a fabulously dry and sardonic manner, is a classic anti-hero. She’s lazy, dirty, and out of shape. She’s joined by an extremely tightly-wound general and a yelling drill sergeant, as well as a cast of alien characters, intergalactic toll-booth operators, and the narrator – who steps up to ask the audience what to do every time a path has to be picked.
Although the play features very low production values (cheap props scattered all over the stage, sound effects provided comically by the narrator), the acting was excellent. It’s clear that the performers have had comedic training.
This play is thoughtless and light, in the best of ways. The audience clearly enjoyed the participatory aspect, shouting loudly for whichever option they thought best (One choice: “Save your mother!” or “Save the world!”). This is the perfect play for when you need to hit the off switch on your brain. Recommended.
Pick Your Path plays at Venue 4 – Academic Hall (133 Seraphin-Marion, University of Ottawa) on Saturday, June 18 at 11pm; Sunday, June 19 at 8pm; Tuesday, June 21 at 6:30pm; Friday, June 24 at 9:30pm; and Sunday, June 26t at 1:30pm.