The reviews are in for Mixed Blood’s ‘Crashing the Party’

Mixed Blood Theatre bills its latest production, “Crashing the Party,” as a “hilarious new comedy about the pursuit of the American dream, where hardworking parents lavish their children with material “love” and leave them with nothing to work for.”

While at least one critic felt the show lived up to its promises, others say the comedy is strained. Check out these excerpts of reviews, or click on the links to read them in full.

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Crashing the Party at Mixed Blood Theatre

Photo by Rich Ryan

From Rohan Preston at the Star Tribune:

Directed with zeal by Sarah Rasmussen and featuring a cast of well-paced pros, “Party” offers a comic tonic for our doldrums… The show has liberal blasts of humor and a few bullets (there is a shotgun in this “Party”). Rasmussen’s production is well-timed and -executed. The orchestrated jokes, even when you see them coming, land perfectly. The fanciful plot twists further the humor.

From Ed Huyck at City Pages:

If the American Dream is dead, then the characters in Crashing the Party, the world-premiere comedy by Josh Tobiessen at Mixed Blood, are picking at the corpse…

Tobiessen has created a screwball comedy for the modern world, one in which the physical humor can come from a clueless FBI agent (delightfully played by Mo Perry) who repeatedly shocks Arthur (Rolando Martinez, who does a fine job with all of his physical humor) into a stupor. The foibles of the family–and believe me, they are many–are merged with a growing sense of unease that their lives are at a dead end.

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Crashing the Party at Mixed Blood Theatre

Photo by Rich Ryan

From John Olive at HowWasTheShow.com:

This zestfully bizarre but ultimately less-than-wonderful play is a farce and uses a machine gun approach to comedy. It shoots gags out with scattershot fervor, the hope being that even if only 50% land the audience will be laughing too hard to groan at the jokes that fall flat. Unfortunately, with this play, a 50% success rate is an impossible dream.

From Dominic P. Papatola at the Pioneer Press:

Channeling the likes of Noel Coward or Kaufman and Hart requires a rapier sense of wit, a keen ear for dialogue and a pitch-perfect sense for characters and situations. Tobiessen’s domestic comedy about an affluent and somewhat clueless family captures the preposterous circumstances of those older works and offers a measure of laughter, but the labor in the effort is plainly visible.

From Anna Rosenweig at AisleSayTwinCities.com:

The play wants to inspire genuine interest in its characters and their relationships, but the zaniness of the plot doesn’t allow these characters the space to develop. Although many of the plot twists are quite funny, their increasingly ridiculous quality undercuts the possibility for the affection expressed between the characters to be at all convincing. As a result, the more tender moments, which might themselves have been poignantly funny, come across instead as sentimental cliches that in turn work against the play’s goofiness.

Crashing the Party runs through March 4. Have you seen it? If so, what’s your review?

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