This past Thursday, February 20th and Friday February 21st, LCN Crusader Nation Theatre presented their winter production: “Law & Order: Fairy Tale Unit”. The play was a comedy that put an ironic twist on classic fairy tales, for example portraying Old McDonald as a corrupt politician who is secretly fear mongering to garner more publicity for his campaign. The play had many highlights, and also some issues. Most of the jokes landed, especially towards the second act.
The first act revolved around the police unit investigating the crime of who blew down the three little pigs’ houses. This led the squad of Evan Ostling ‘20 and Reagan Nehring ’20 through various different Fairy tales, such as interrogating Pinocchio and questioning the 7 dwarves. Unfortunately, despite the charismatic performance from Ostling and other actors, the 1st act seemed to severely drag, and was hard to follow at times. A lot of the tongue-in-cheek fairy tale twists started flying over people’s heads as the play ticked along, and not everything landed. For such a smart play which relied on irony, the one-liners which forcefully closed nearly every scene were surprisingly dull, dry and cringe worthy at times.
One particularly tired gag was the 3 narrators who stepped out before each and every scene to vocally pronounce the sound effect “Chu Chunk”, (which was confusing and strange to many audience members until seemingly throughout the play it was realized by the audience this was meant to be interpreted as a sound effect from the TV intro of the law & Order series,) give the time, and give the location, respectively. This did not land and instead always set an almost awkward tone for each scene.
However, the play did have many high points and standout performances where the passion and charisma of the actors clearly shone through. Freshman Jaylen Davis as B.B. Wolf, Senior Evan Ostling as Humpty Dumpty in the first act, as well as Senior Antonio Davis as Old McDonald in the second act brought a lot of energy and held the play together, despite a shaky script. Ostling’s big monologue about how his fall off of a great wall has led to him quitting the police force and losing faith in society, as well as Davis’s big reveal that he was secretly a corrupt politician, were the highlights.
The second act was significantly better and faster paced than the first, with the mystery being easier to follow. The act revolved around Old McDonald attempting to frame the Itsy Bitsy Spider for a crime. The punchline of the entire second act came when Old McDonald is revealed as corrupt, as he has paid his witness, The Little Baby, “Hush money”, and as she exposes him, he proclaims “Hush little baby! Don’t say a word!” This joke got lots of laughs and had many audience members invested.
Overall, the script was very shaky and suffered often times from feeling like a series of skits with little cohesion to the story. As per usual, however, the passion that the actors and cast brought to the project shone through and made it worthwhile in the end. The play was also a good send off to many of the seniors involved in this play as their final production, as they got to have fun on stage and take part in a very character-driven play. The actors and stage crew deserve lots of credit and kudos for completing another production, and also congratulations is deserved to the seniors who took part in “Law & Order: Fairy Tale Unit” as their final production.