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NOW Magazine August 19th, 1999

ERIC WOOLFE THRILLER DESERVES A REMOUNT

Theatre Reviews

By Jon Kaplan

and Glenn Sumi

The Strange & Eerie Memoirs of Billy Wuthergloom. Written and performed by Eric Woolfe. Presented by Eldritch Theatre and Summerworks at the Tarragon Mainspace. August 5-15. $8. Rating NNNN.

    The fearsome  ghosts and goblins that we all think live under the bed and in the closet take a wry turn in Eric Woolfe's The Strange & Eerie Memoirs of Billy Wuthergloom. As much about coming to terms with sex as it is about childhood fears of the dark, the show was a Summerworks highlight.

   Under Jason Charter's direction, Woolfe plays the central figure and also voices the other characters, delightfully bizarre puppets created by Dawn Weaver from found items such as a broken umbrella, rubber plunger head and mannequin parts. Central to the action is another animated figure, the sad-faced Hirskill Fischmascher, schoolyard reject and Billy's best friend.

   The script has some uncanny mythic qualities, and it's given an extra goosing of spookiness by Marc Downing's songs. Woolfe moves easily back and forth between the characters, though at times his Billy pales in comparison to someone like the adenoidal Hirskill, whose sad face seems to change expressions as he becomes Billy's key defender and alter ego.

   Charming and chilling at the same time, and worth a remount.    -JK