John Hammond, his lawyer, and the group of scientists stare out the helicopter window. Then, Hammond utters the famous line “Welcome…to Jurassic Park.” The music swells and the helicopter makes its descent with grassy hills and a waterfall in the background. It’s a picturesque and iconic moment that you can probably picture in your mind right now. However, you probably didn’t expect that it would be represented by a tiny cocktail umbrella spinning down a backdrop of a plastic cup pouring water into a trash can, right? It’s this moment and many more unexpected ones that bring the Hold On To Your Butts parody to life.
Recent Cutbacks Brings the Creativity
An almost bare stage stands before us. Two chairs and various other props are scattered in the corners like a few tree branches, a Hawaiian print shirt, and a bike helmet. All of these seem to have nothing in common with each other. It leaves us wondering how this show is going to recreate the vast and expansive world of Jurassic Park.
We were promised a shot-for-shot parody of the movie, and Hold Onto Your Butts delivers on that promise in the most unexpected ways. A tiny necktie becomes the stand-in for the most annoying lawyer. A piece of cardboard with push lights becomes the jeep tumbling off a cliff. A shaving razor becomes a razor sharp raptor claw. We can’t help but wait excitedly to see how the cast is going to recreate each iconic scene.
Fun and Energetic
All three members of the cast seem to have an unending reserve of energy. Dinah Berkley and Natalie Rich play the main characters (and then some) while Dane Brandon stands by to make any and all accompanying sound and ambient noises. For the full 90 minutes, all three performers stay on stage switching quickly from character to character and scene to scene.
Berkley dons a hat and backpack playing both children at the same time. Rich switches from aviators to yellow tinted sunglasses transforming from the no-nonsense Dr. Grant to the cocky Dr. Malcolm in a matter of seconds. They’re aided Brandon who sits readily at his folding table, piles of objects around him ready to create the atmospheric sound at every turn.
Hold On To Your Butts has the crowd laughing at every turn. In this writer’s opinion, it might be helpful to have seen the original movie at least once to understand those exaggerated moments and references. So for those who are fans of Jurassic Park and love to see all those iconic moments turned into over the top campiness, this would be a good fit for you.
Thru June 30th, 2023
Friday at 8pm
1501 N. Kingsbury Ave.
CHICAGO, IL 60642
About the Author: Alexis Bugajski
Alexis is a theater reviewer, travel bug, media specialist, and burger & beer enthusiast. During the day she works in the advertising business as a senior communications designer. When night falls, or when she can escape to New York, she’s hitting the theaters to see as many shows as she can. And whenever she’s not at her desk or in the audience, she’s out seeking the best burger and beer offerings in Chicago.
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