Moonrisers begins with a nod to Beckett. Four shabby, drunken philosopher/hoboes: Darwin (Christopher Magee), Ferdinand (Michael Magee ), Bardamu (Christian Haines), Celine (Melissa Ortiz ), Megan Toth (Mr.Blacktooth/Spirit) are splayed out on a platform. They discuss, between swigs from whiskey bottles, whether the Moon is real or not, and how would one find out. This hysterically funny yet thought-provoking play with the eponymous name of the theatre company, is headed by founder Christopher Magee, who also wrote and directed. The dialogue is fast-paced; actors sometimes all talk at once requiring one to pay attention. Still. it’s worth not missing a single word. But you can’t help laughing, so you will miss a few.
These poor, yet ingenious thinkers decide to act on their desire to find the truth so fly to the Moon in their jerrybuilt rocket. There they are accosted by hostile inhabitants who look like Wonderwomen, and an angelic Universal Spirit doings its best to shed light and love among the philosophers and Moon people. Still, the four wonder, upon their eventual return, had they really left Earth and gone to the Moon? Was their question answered?
On press night, Jan 21, Magee apologized for the lack of the presence of a Moon, promising it would be evident for the remainder of the run. Still, the lack of it did not impact the play negatively. It is a delightful production which deserves an audience.
Moonrisers can be seen from February 1-3: Thu, Fri, Sat @ 8PM. Go to: phoenixtheatresf.org for tickets and information.