Thursday, November 3, 2016

Twin Cities Horror Festival V: Sweet Dreams, Alfie by Savage Umbrella

What's It About: "It's about the thing that goes *bump* in your mind."

Sweet Dreams, Alfie is haunting, disquieting and beautifully done. Russ Dugger, who also came up with the story and shares writing credit with director Laura Leffler-McCabe and the ensemble, plays Alfie, a guy so deep in a depression that it's difficult for him to know when he's asleep or just living his nightmares.

The stagecraft is simple but evocative, and the ensemble (Russ Duggar, Mark Sweeney, Megan Clark, Claire Morrison) act the hell out of their parts. Did I mention it's haunting? Random images from the show keep flashing through my head: Alfie shaving in the mirror, eating takeout with his sister, drinking coffee with his girlfriend, being invited out for drinks by the obnoxious guy at work. It all seems very innocuous, but it's anything but. This is probably the most unsettling show I've seen at the Twin Cities Horror Festival, but unsettling in a wonderful, thoughtful way. You can just feel that it's made with authenticity and kindness.

If You're Sensitive and/or Delicate: This show is not so supernatural but more about the horrors our minds can create. There's a little blood, but it's more suggestive than gory.

In Short: A well-told (and rather sad) story, with haunting imagery and marvelous performances. This show will stay with me for quite some time.