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  • Writer's pictureKimberly Laberge

Brandy, cigars, and early feminism in The Explorer's Club

Fast-paced, farcical, and feminist, The Explorer's Club is a tale of mishaps and misadventures when Lucius nominates Phylidda Spotte-Hume, a feisty woman, as the newest member of the elite Explorer's Club.

Miss Spotte-Hume (Katie Lynne Krueger) carries herself with all of the refinery of Julie Andrews, and the spunk of Carol Burnett. Her rapid-fire deliveries only further demonstrate her grasp of the sciences, and make her a perfect foil to the fumbling Lucius (Zachary Klahn). Krueger and Klahn have a cutesy sort of chemistry together, separating their compatibility from those between Phylidda and the more macho Explorers.

Zachary Klahn, Mike Crowley, Katie Krueger

Each of the Explorers come with a token of their adventures: Walling with Jane the guinea pig, Professor Cope with Rosie the snake, and Phylidda with... Luigi. Playing the mysterious blue man from a well-hidden NaKong tribe, Mike Crowley steals the show. Speaking very little English, Luigi communicates in other strange ways. For instance, instead of a handshake, one can expect a slap across the face.

As the show progresses, Crowley's performance becomes more and more familiarized with the behaviors of the Explorers, so much so that Luigi eventually acts as their bartender. The slapstick, physical comedy is refreshing amongst the intellectual banter in Nell Benjamin's script.

Eric Starr, John Reilly, Zachary Klahn, Jim Baker, Katie Krueger, Mike Crowley, Paul Weir, Logan Milway, Jeffrey Seelig

With a woman's role still being brought into question in male-dominated fields, The Explorer's Club is a timely comedy despite the nearly 150 years which separate its' events from ours. Directed by Diane Powell and Ed Sarna, this piece is a hoot and runs through February 10th at Lake Country Playhouse.


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