Monday, October 4, 2010

Infinite Abyss Production: Angel Eaters (2 reviews)

Infinite Abyss Productions worked with Empire Stage to produce the South Florida premiere of Angel Eaters, by Joanna Adams. It opened October 2, 2010.
Just in time for Halloween, Angel Eaters is a supernatural thriller set in the Oklahoma Dust Bowl in the 1930s and centers around  a family of women dealing with the death of their father, Herbert, who lies dead on the kitchen floor. When two con men from a local carnival claim to be able to resurrect Herbert, a chain of events is set into motion as the family learns that daughter Joann is an Angel Eater, cursed with the ability to raise the dead with catastrophic results.
Jeff Holmes directed a cast that included Jim Gibbons, Cheryl Kirsch, ,Shelby Steel, Christina Groom, Scott Wilson, Ilana Isaacson and Joe Harter.

Mary Damiano reviewed for South Florida Theater Review:
Director Jeffrey D. Holmes has crafted an evocative production that conjures up the hopelessness and desperation of dustbowl Oklahoma in the 1930s. His use of Robert Johnson blues songs adds to the mysterious mood. The scenic design by Douglas Grinn is clever and looks as if it’s weathered several dust storms.

Wilson perfectly conveys the smarminess of a con man who will say or do anything to save his pathetic hide and make money doing it. It’s fun to watch him... He’s matched by Groom, who embodies Nola’s desperation and willingness to believe anything in order to escape her circumstances.

Kirsch chews a little more scenery than needed to portray Myrtle, and veers more into caricature rather than sticking with characterization. Jim Gibbons has a meaty part as a much older man in love with Joanne, and it’s to his credit that he infuses his essentially creepy character with so much sympathy and humanity. Steel, with her long red hair and pale, perfect complexion, deftly portrays Joanne’s shocking inner conflicts.

The Angel Eaters is an intense little horror story with plenty of twists and turns... It’s a great way to gear up for Halloween.
Christine Dolen reviewed for The Miami  Herald:
Why producer Erynn Dalton and director Jeffrey D. Holmes picked Angel Eaters  isn't mysterious. While the play isn't great theater, it offers loads of opportunities for over-the-top theatrics (along with its sparse gentler moments), and this production obliges to the extreme.
After establishing era and atmosphere with set designer Douglas Grinn's spooky rendering of the Hollister house, chicken coop and the laundry, then enhancing that with period music and horror-flick lighting, Holmes has the cast act with a pedal-to-the-metal intensity that rarely abates.
Groom adroitly changes on a dime, first berating suave con man Fortune Clay (Scott Douglas Wilson), then surrendering in the same way that got her into her pregnancy pickle in the first place. Wilson is every inch the silver-tongued devil, and Joe Harter exudes bluster and fear as his accomplice Enoch, a man who winds up chained to the porch like a dog. Kirsch's Myrtle makes Joan Crawford a candidate for mother of the year. Gibbons somehow manages to make Doc a tender-hearted pedophile. (Again, ewww.)
There is, obviously, a real creepiness factor to Angel Eaters. But it's clear there's an audience for such walks on the weird side and for once, you don't have to go to a multiplex to get your screech on.
The Infinite Abyss production of Angel Eaters plays at Empire Stage through October 23, 2010.


  1. Angel Eaters was great! The cast was cast perfectly. If you want to have a good time and watch good acting go see this show. You won't regret it.

  2. Saw it yesterday - great show, great acting, very nice setting - go see it while you can!!