Ray Robinson & Tom Schultz. Photo: Company OutCast

The Cliffnotes of Insanity: The Princess Bride in 30 minutes or Less

Adapted and directed by Ray Robinson

A review by Kate Barry

Entire contents are copyright © 2019 by Kate Barry. All rights reserved.

Is there any other movie more recognizable and quotable than The Princess Bride? Inconceivable! The Princess Bride in 30 Minutes or Less is a concise reimagining of the classic Rob Reiner film, a humorous homage that pokes gentle fun at the beloved fantasy-RomCom. Ray Robinson has adapted the flick into a clean, 30-minute romp currently performed in association with Company Outcast and the end result is just plain fun.

As the title The Cliffnotes of Insanity implies, this is a stripped down version of William Goldman’s “storybook story”. But don’t think for one second that Robinson and Company Outcast has forgotten any of the classic and beloved moments. In this version, the actor who is to play the villainous Prince Humperdink is missing, detained in the blood pressure machine at the Highland Kroger. An impromptu audition process takes place, a new Humperdink is chosen from the audience and the rest of the play proceeds. Shenanigans ensue as this company of actors hastily re-enact famous fight scenes, dramatic monologues, and classic comedic bits aboard a ship, braving the fire swamps, and storming the castle.

Serving double duty as the Grandfather/Narrator character, Ray Robinson keeps the actors on their literal toes as he reads along from the book and keeps track of the time. After all, this play is supposed to be thirty minutes or less. Victoria Wagner hectically rushes to and fro as the Production Assistant attempting to keep the show moving along despite a missing actor. Wagner and Robinson play off each other well in a humorous power struggle constructed from competing annoyances. Tom Schulz is a power player as he serves up some laughs with his Vizzini and Miracle Max characters. Performed in haste, Schulz has considerable fun as Vizzini as he rushes through the “land war in Asia” bit, and he brings originality to Miracle Max, an iconic cameo from Billy Crystal in the movie. Where Crystal’s Max is something of a Jewish stereotype, Schulz brings out Max’s frustrations with great timing.

The cast holds their own while truly honoring the film. Julia Bright Moran plays Count Regan with tremendous gusto as she relies on physical comedy and a six-fingered glove. Rachel Allen’s Inigo Montoya is a faithful caricature of Mandy Patinkin’s performance yet Allen has some fun by adding some dramatic flair and a silly accent. Christie Troxell is a bit stiff as the genuinely stoic Buttercup but lets her hair down (figuratively and literally) to shine as Valerie. Christopher Smith’s Wesley and Dread Pirate Roberts play up the dry wit within the script while bringing a modern flair to the story; his first entrance in a trucker hat. Roy De La Rosa is emphatic and instantly likable as the forced rhyming giant (who’s really not that big), Fezzik. De La Rosa brings big laughs with a smaller part as the Albino. A physical gag involving a cloud of makeup powder breaths new shtick into the Albino’s coughed up “don’t even think about trying to escape” one-liner.

Complete with pirate ship puppetry, a Trekkie in a red shirt stumbling into the action, and even more audience participation, this play infused with improvisational delights. The Cliffnotes of Insanity The Princess Bride in 30 minutes or Less is a fun-loving tribute to a staple in pop culture.

The Cliffnotes of Insanity: The Princess Bride in 30 minutes or Less

March 28-31, April 4-6 @ 7:30pm

Company OutCast
The Bards Town Theater
1801 Bardstown Road
Louisville, KY 40205

TICKETS: https://www.tickettailor.com/events/thebard


Kate Barry earned her Bachelors in English with a Theater minor from Bellarmine University in 2008. She has worked with many different companies around town including Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, Bunbury Theater, Louisville Repertory Company, Walden Theater, Finnigan Productions and you have probably purchased tickets from her at that little performing arts center on Main Street as well. In 2012, her short play “PlayList” won festival favorite in the Finnigan Festival of Funky Fresh Fun. She has written for LEO Weekly and TheatreLouisville.com as well. Thanks for reading!


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