photo by Mark Garvin
Take a trip up to the third floor of Walnut Street Theatre and enter the town of Popcorn Falls now through March 29th at Independence Studio on 3. This 2018 off-Broadway gem features two actors in over twenty roles as the residents of Popcorn Falls who scramble together to save their town.
Luke Bradt and Dan Olmstead (seen earlier this season as another fantastic duo, Igor and the Monster, in Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein The Musical) mainly play Joe and Mr. Trundle, respectively. Mr. Trundle is the town’s new mayor, Joe is the resident handyman. We meet them as they are prepping for the people of Popcorn Falls for a town meeting to discuss the mean neighboring town that shut off their landmark waterfall. Now, Popcorn Falls is about to become nothing but a sewage treatment site. Luckily there’s a loophole! A grant can save Popcorn Falls if they are able to produce a play…in one week…even though they have no theatre…no actors…no play to perform!
As Bradt and Olmstead also represent the rest of the Falls’ cast of characters, we watch how the arts will save them all! Each actor’s quick change is comedic as they just casually throw on a hat or apron or other simple prop to become another Popcorn Falls townsperson. These moments are meant to be disheveled and funny, but you soon realize how believable they are as they transition into another character and personality. Thanks to Bradt and Olmstead, the audience can get a sense of the people who live in this town and why they must work together to create an epic performance.
As most stories like this go, the mayor and company are met with last minute obstacles. Can they pull off their show before the deadline? Will they save Popcorn Falls? I bet you already know the answer, but it would be silly of you to stay home and not find out for sure.
Popcorn Falls could be any small town rallying against a big neighbor and fighting to keep what rightfully belongs there. I grew up in a small town and I bet a lot of you did too. The “kernels” of Popcorn Falls probably remind you of a specific someone from back home. Or maybe you even see yourself in one of the characters. Popcorn Falls shows us the lighter side of a town’s problems, but no matter where you are from or how big the issue in front of you is, you know the importance of community and sticking together in dire times.
This is a fun, over-the-top comedy that’s perfect for a night out in Philadelphia. You’ll be surprised, delighted, and maybe even crave some popcorn. Tickets are available here.