Work The Popcorn-Throwing Muscles At Pocket Sandwich Theatre's Hercules

Theater Caps are bite-sized punch-packing capsule reviews by resident theater critic Elaine Liner. Use them as a reminder -- or a teaser, if you procrastinate -- of her full-length reviews in The Mixmaster's weekly sister.

Throwing food at actors is frowned upon at most theaters. But not all. The one place you can hurl a foodstuff at the stage is Pocket Sandwich Theatre, which has one of its popcorn melodramas running right now. The show is The Final Adventures of Hercules. The food is dry popcorn, which is better for throwing than for eating. You're supposed to toss it at the villains of the piece, but the more pitchers of beer the rowdy audience consumes, the more popped kernels cover the stage no matter who's up there.

The play by Chris Irby and Sean Freeman takes liberties with the myth, assigning silly names like the "Isle of Lucy" (say it a few times to get the joke) and "Caves of Uranus" to places and "Anorexia" and "Plethora" to people. Hercules (Andrew Dillon) sets out to find the "Chalice of Cialis," thwarted in his quest by the evil Queen Milfodite (Trista Wyly).

Jokes fly - "Of all the taverns in all the city-states in all the world," says Herc - and so does the popcorn. The evening drags on as Pocket stops the show for two long intermissions (for ordering food and drink and then for paying up), but there are just enough laughs to excuse the interruptions.

The Final Adventures of Hercules continues through August 20 at Pocket Sandwich Theatre. Call 214-821-1860.

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Elaine Liner
Contact: Elaine Liner