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Penguins Episode 1 an evening of zany blasphemy
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Penguins Episode 1 an evening of zany blasphemy

by Miryam Gordon - SGN A&E Writer

Penguins Episode 1: Heaven the Hard Way
Annex Theatre
Through August 28


Top off your evening with a big dose of blasphemy, Catholic-style. Watch as Father Jones (Chris Dietz) sends henchmen to off his rivals in the nunnery so he doesn't have to give up the sacramental wine, among other deadly sins. Scot Augustson's hilarious take on the secret goings-on in the church hierarchy includes such evasions as using dolls to demonstrate sex (no actual physical touching, right?), having pillow fights to pretend you're not attracted to your sister nun, and letting the mother of your rival murdered nun think she has a chance of making a saint out of her daughter (Teri Lazzara in a hysterical, pathetic role).

You have until August 28 at 11:00 p.m. to catch Penguins Episode 1: Heaven the Hard Way. But take heart, Penguins Episode 2 will be presented in January, and Episode 3 is scheduled to show up next August. Who knows how long this will last? Augustson and Annex Theatre will likely make as many as will keep people coming back for more. This is a late-night offering which accompanies each of their regular mainstage productions, though that is not to say they are related one to another.

Director Bret Fetzer comes up with one of the best pen-light shows ever devised, and created one of the strangest "stained-glass windows" to ever be labeled a stained-glass window. He keeps the energy hopping. One irritant, however, is the switching back and forth from Irish accent to New York thug talk. It's not at all clear what it means when it happens.

There are lots and lots of automatic weapons brandished, many gunshots heard, and an anti-abortion picketer who draws a line between Baptists and Catholics, since Catholics can't be saved. We can anticipate seeing more of the same in the next episodes. For more information, go to www.annextheatre.org or www.brownpapertickets.com or call 206-728-0933.

Comments on reviews go to sgncritic@gmail.com.

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