(Cover Photo: The CAST of Greater Boston Stage Company's "POPCORN FALLS," by James Hindman, now playing in Stoneham, MA. through October 2, 2022. Photo by Nile Scott Studios)
By Kevin T. Baldwin
"Humor expressed with a kernel of truth."
Written by James Hindman
Directed by Lisa Rafferty
Starring Christopher Chew and Sarah Elizabeth Bedard
Greater Boston Stage Company, 395 Main Street, Stoneham, MA 02180
September 16, 2022 through October 2, 2022
(Contact Box Office for Exact Times)
Approximate run time 90 minutes with no intermission.
Reserve your tickets today!
Box Office Hours: Mondays – Fridays, noon to 6pm Box Office # 781-279-2200
(Photo: Sarah Elizabeth Bedard and Christopher Chew from Greater Boston Stage Company's "POPCORN FALLS," by James Hindman, now playing in Stoneham, MA. through October 2, 2022. Photo by Nile Scott Studios)
The latest offering by Greater Boston Stage Company is the hilarious "POPCORN FALLS," by James Hindman and it is a fine two-hander of a farce.
Actors Sarah Elizabeth Bedard and Christopher Chew portray a multitude of eccentric characters, many of whom have banded together to save their little struggling town from impending bankruptcy.
The town has already lost all tourism business because their namesake waterfall has dried up.
Endangered, the town faces certain extinction as a neighboring city seeks to absorb what's left of "POPCORN FALLS" but "guaranteeing residents work" only once the entire town has been converted into the area's largest waste treatment plant.
To combat the efforts, the town's Mayor (played by Chew) seeks to save the town by using funds granted by the neighboring city solely for the establishment of a "POPCORN FALLS" theatre.
The Mayor gathers up some of the town's most off-center citizens (mostly portrayed by the versatile Bedard) and, with almost zero collective talent and experience, begins to produce and stage an original play that also has almost zero hope in succeeding.
(Photo from L-R top to bottom: Sarah Elizabeth Bedard, Sarah Elizabeth Bedard, Sarah Elizabeth Bedard and Christopher Chew in Greater Boston Stage Company's "POPCORN FALLS," by James Hindman, now playing in Stoneham, MA. through October 2, 2022. Photo by Nile Scott Studios)
What adds to the humor in "POPCORN FALLS" is the impeccable staging by director Lisa Rafferty, who has ensured that the audience will not witness one moment of wasted time in the entire 90 minutes of hilarity.
The single set design by Kristin Loeffler allows for great flexibility by the actors to maneuver around one another for the varied (and occasionally intense) quick character transitions with Bedard and Chew using minimal props and costume pieces.
What may surprise many, though, is that, throughout much of the preposterous proceedings, we come to truly care about the wacky residents of "POPCORN FALLS" and their various backstories.
Hindman's finely tuned script might easily have been cast with the appropriate number of actors to portray the characters. Yet, part of the fun is watching the two actors as they navigate... sometimes at breakneck speed...their varied character metamorphoses.
We root for each of the show's underdogs to succeed against the overwhelming odds, both eternally and internally, they are pitted against.
Above all else, though, Hindman's "POPCORN FALLS" is an extremely funny show with exceptionally diverse performances which keeps the laughs coming nearly every other line. This terrific staging at Greater Boston Stage Company makes for a fun night out at the theatre.
Approximately 90 minutes with no intermission.
Kevin T. Baldwin is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA)
ABOUT THE SHOW
Welcome to POPCORN FALLS, a town whose only claim to fame – their namesake waterfall – has dried up.
Their last chance to avoid bankruptcy is to put on a play in a week.
One big problem: no playhouse.
Another problem: no play.
In this feel-good comedy, follow two actors as they hilariously play over twenty townsfolk trying to prove that art can save the world.
ABOUT GREATER BOSTON STAGE COMPANY
We bring vibrant professional theatre and dramatic education beyond the boundaries of Boston, featuring world and regional premieres alongside fresh interpretations of familiar work. Within this setting, we uniquely foster the artists of tomorrow by providing ongoing performance and employment opportunities to our company of current and former students. Now in its 22nd Season of live theatre in Stoneham, MA, Greater Boston Stage Company produces five Mainstage shows, presents a series of Special Events, and runs year-round classes, lessons, and fully staged productions through The Young Company for students in grades 1–12.
Greater Boston Stage Company
395 Main Street
Stoneham, MA 02180