Wednesday, February 26, 2014

theatre review TOP GUN: LIVE, ABRIDGED AND COMPLETELY UNDERFUNDED, Feb, 21, All Puppet Players/Mesa Encore Theatre

Click here to read my complete review of Top Gun: Live, Abridged and Completely Underfunded at Talkin' Broadway

"The 1986 movie Top Gun was a gigantic hit at the box office and the film that catapulted Tom Cruise to Hollywood megastar status. Shaun Michael McNamara and his All Puppet Players' latest adult puppet spoof spectacle, Top Gun: Live, Abridged and Completely Underfunded, which just concluded a three week run in conjunction with the Mesa Encore Theatre, was another success for McNamara and showed once again his ability to take a well-known piece of entertainment and turn it on its ear with humorous results.

McNamara's savvy direction included sure-footed guidance of his more than capable puppeteers as well as a few funny touches. These included the inventive use of umbrellas for parachutes, short bits from famous musical scores at key moments along with the famous songs from the movie used effectively but not in an overbearing way. And while not every joke landed and the script did meander a bit in parts, McNamara and his cast's comic talents and improvisational skills added plenty of chuckles to the high testosterone level of the plot.  Top Gun: Live, Abridged and Completely Underfunded was another success for the All Puppet Players, the Mesa Encore Theatre and Shaun Michael McNamara, and I look forward to seeing what their next production will be in the Phoenix area.
Top Gun: Live, Abridged and Completely Underfunded ran from February 7th to February 22nd with performances at the Mesa Encore Theatre's Black Box on Brown theatre. For information on upcoming All Puppet Players productions visit For information on upcoming productions at Mesa Encore Theatre visit

Photo: Shaun Michael McNamara


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