By Debbie Kagy
Waiting for The Jacket to start, the audience has no idea what to expect from “Live Ninja Theater.” Thankfully, they are bombarded with absurdities and feats which will keep them laughing all the way to their cars.
Bronkar Lee opens the show for the two week run in North Hollywood, with his hilarious and talented mix of beat boxing and juggling. By the second act, the audience is ready to accept anything that is thrown at them.
And that is exactly what happens in The Jacket. Tomoki Sage, Chen Pollina, Misha Fradin, and Kiyota Sage are highly skilled ninjas fighting to capture the power of the coveted jacket. They invite you into their world and minds with powerful acrobatics, hyperactive characters, and unbelievable creativity. Throughout the show, the ninjas are easily distracted and pulled into situations that are overly ridiculous and joyously unexpected.
Pattie Miles Van Beuzekom has directed the show in a way that keeps the absurdity centered, yet helps create a world for adults and children alike to revel in their imaginations and childhoods. Matrix style moves, characters that just won’t die, and perfectly timed “bullet time” surround the audience in child-like make believe.
One of the most original aspects of The Jacket is the myriad of media formats used: from animation and filmed vignettes, to a quick commercial break. Kay Dudley and Kate Ettinger work together to bring fullness to the show through innovative music, visual effects, and perfectly synced prerecorded sound effects.
If you have ever wondered if you might have ADHD, you will love and embrace The Jacket.
The Jacket runs Nov. 30 to Dec. 9 at the El Portal Theater located at 5269 Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood. For tickets, call (866) 811-4111 or go to thejacketshow.com.