This, dear readers, is not a review. Rather, it is an exhortation: Go see Z Space's new comedy by playwright Peter Sinn Nachtrieb starring the arrestingly funny Danny Scheie. Titled A House Tour of the Infamous Porter Family Mansion with Tour Guide Weston Ludlow Londonderry, the 90-minute piece is an alternatively gut-bustingly hilarious and intensely poignant dive into what it means to not quite fit in.
Modeled on famous house tours (think Winchester Mystery House), the show takes place throughout Z Space's cavernous, repurposed industrial space. When you go, don't expect to sit still — the tour guide and sole performer, Danny Scheie, pushes and pulls and directs you through a series of rooms and hallways (and one bathroom) as he recalls the story of the couple that built the eponymous Porter mansion.
Scheie is no stranger to Bay Area theatergoers, who will recall his performances in 2009's A Midsummer Night's Dream at CalShakes and last year's One Man, Two Guvnors at Berkeley Rep. Trained as a Shakespearean actor (he used to run Shakespeare Santa Cruz), his delivery makes the wonderfully layered text of House Tour pop.
The play was developed at Berkeley Rep's Ground Floor incubator for new work, and had its opening last night.
As I saw a packed preview performance last week, I cannot technically offer a formal review of the show. However, unless the play's writing, acting, directing, set design, lighting, and sound all of the sudden went terribly south, I can comfortably and emphatically say that you should go see this extraordinarily bizarre, lewd, and endearing piece of theater.
House Tour runs through April 23, and tickets are available on Z Space's website. Oh, and, without giving anything away, it's not exactly appropriate for children. Below, a brief, wordless, video preview.