All Hail the Great Serpent!
nytheatre.com review by Mark DeFrancis
August 8, 2008
"Yes!" is all that my friend could say at the end of the show. There really isn't much more to say and it would be very hard to capture the effects of All Hail the Great Serpent! without using many capitalized expletives, but I will try my best. Serpent is an assault on all decent and meaningful theatre in the fringe, maybe the world. The 11-man squad that constitutes the sketch comedy group Murderfist is easily the most vulgar, tasteless, and offensive pack of young hooligans you are ever going to find at FringeNYC. Which is awesome. Murderfist, which has been prowling the New York sketch comedy scene for two years, brings seven of their favorite sketches to the festival, each one more disturbing than the last. I will say this though, I have never laughed so hard at a FringeNYC show, and may never laugh so hard again. Go see it.
The show itself is a quick and dirty series of sketches coupled together with furious set changes that feature a Chinese dragon (that would be Kripnor the Serpent Emperor), bizarre masks, and something similar to dancing. The Fist attacks each of these moments with an enthusiasm that makes other sketch groups look positively catatonic and shows their passion for their crazy, crazy show. The audience is fully involved in the event and gets treated to candies and baby snakes as gifts. The sketches themselves deal with such important and topical issues as killing your parents, spitting in a dead man's ear, good body swapping, bad body swapping, and the plight of young soldiers returning from the Iraq war. Again, it was hilarious.
That being said, it is important to note that behind all of the irreverence and offense is a talented troupe of performers. Henry Zebrowski stands out as a force to be reckoned with as he leads off the show in the role of a bearded, over-the-hill actress before closing the show in a fashion which will never leave my brain. Timothy Dean, Ed Larson, and John Moreno also have great moments, but the truth is that the entire cast is on point throughout. Catch this show or, if you miss it, seek out Murderfist anytime you are in the mood for some seriously deranged hilarity.