IndyFringe: Rocket in Your Pocket! Father Ned in Space – The Musical

This is part of IndyFringe 2021, Aug. 19-Sept. 5 (individual performance times vary) in downtown Indianapolis. Details and tickets at IndyFringe.org.

By Wendy Carson

The wacky group from Perpendicular Island are back again and this time they have a divine mission to assist the Vatican (and Ned’s mortal enemies, the Jesuits) in beating the Lutherans into space.

General Jesuit (David Molloy) and Captain Jesuit (Manny Castillas) must endure the ever-suffering Father Ned (John Lindley) and questionable housekeeper Mrs. O’Boyle (Kate Duffy), because Ned’s imbecilic Priest-in-training Father Dermott McDermott (Blake Mellencamp) is the nephew of the regional Bishop. Luckily, the perverted sot Father Finn Flannagan (David Whicker) has been left back at the Parish – or has he?

Add to this group May Anne Mathews as a Cosmic Otter, Krysten Lyster as a very “Random” Alien as well as Shari Grinnell as the Voice of the Vatican, who keeps trying to keep this mission in check.

Needless to say, things go hilariously awry. Plus, there are several fun songs punctuating the story (wait until you hear Ned’s!).

So strap in and launch into a galaxy of silliness that pokes fun not only at the British sitcom “Father Ted,” but also Star Trek, Star Wars, Monty Python, and others. Launchpad is the District Theatre.

IndyFringe: Game of Crows — Winter’s Coming, Father Ned!

This show is part of the 15th Annual Indianapolis Theatre Fringe Festival, a/k/a IndyFringe, Aug. 15-25, 2019 on Mass Ave downtown. Info, etc., at www.IndyFringe.org.

By Wendy Carson

The wacky gang from Perpendicular island is back again with a new adventure and some new cast members as well. There is also a Bingo card on the back of your program that can win you a prize after the show.

We start with tales of the dreaded Bog Walker and a discovery of treasures possibly left by Leif Erikson. Soon visitors arrive with some exciting news, the field being the Priory has been chosen for filming the dramatic final battle of Winterbeard on the massively popular show, “Game of Crows.”

The zaniness escalates from there as everyone on the island gets into the spirit and the homages emerge faster than the puffin eggs from Father Flannagan (David Whicker) — he was apparently a prime nesting spot during the “Great Puffin Migration”. Pop culture references from all over fly fast and furiously throughout.

David Molloy steps up to the new role of Father Ned Tully wholeheartedly and plays it very well. Blake Mellencamp’s turn as the dim-witted Father Dermott McDermott brings all the silliness necessary to highlight the character. While Kyrsten Lyster and Jim Lucas do an excellent job of portraying the wily grifters, Bridget Robertson & Hugh O’Toole. As is tradition in their shows, local rap artist Nate Burner as Squashy Nate, acts as our guide through this farcical tale.

Kate Duffy Sim is delightful as the dotty housekeeper, Mrs. O’Boyle, who cheerfully serves up the puffin eggs in everything possible. However, it is her version of the smugly condescending version of Olenna Tyrell that is worth the ticket price alone.

So sit back and enjoy some laughs as well as a nice cup of puffin tea with Clerical Error Productions. Remaining performances are Friday and Saturday (Aug. 23-24) at The Oasis (Shriners’ entrance of the Murat, on the north side), 502 N. New Jersey St.

DivaFest: An odd Irish ‘three men and a baby’

This is part of the 2019 Diva Fest, presented by IndyFringe at 719 E. St. Clair St., Indianapolis, through April 21. All shows are by women playwrights, presented as one-hour one-acts at a Fringe price. For information and tickets, see www.indyfringe.org.

By John Lyle Belden

Kate Duffy Sim once again blesses us with a brilliant parody of the British sitcom, “Father Ted,” which relates the quirky lives of priests living on a remote island off the Irish coast.

This time, in “Who’s Minding the Snapper,” Father Ned and company are visited by a very pregnant American woman. The baby quickly arrives, but the mother disappears — can Ned, dimwitted Father Dermott and drunken Father Finn successfully care for the little “snapper”?

Presented by Clerical Error Productions and directed by David Malloy, the surreal atmosphere and comic potential are enhanced by “cross-gender casting,” as the program put it. Sim ably plays Ned, while Bridget Schlebecker is a hoot as Finn. Kyrsten Lyster is outstanding as Dermott, displaying deft skill at the hard task of playing a “stupid” character so cleverly. Manny Casillas charms as the housekeeper Mrs. O’Boyle, while Anthony Logan Nathan is something to behold as brash, devious Mrs. McShane, who tends the home of a rival priest.

Case Jacobus is the “girl in trouble,” while actual rapper Nate Burner plays her rap-star boyfriend. “N8” also performs the opening theme, and spun some rhymes at curtain call to introduce the cast.

Hilarious with the right amount of heart, you’ll need to do penance if you miss this one. Performances are 8:30 p.m. Saturday and 5:30 p.m. Sunday (April 20-21).

IndyFringe: ‘The Pope Walks Into A Bar, Father Ned!’

This show is part of the 14th Annual Indianapolis Theatre Fringe Festival, a/k/a IndyFringe, Aug. 16-26, 2018 on Mass Ave downtown. Info, etc., at www.IndyFringe.org.

By Wendy Carson

Whether you are a hardcore fan of the British television sitcom, “Father Ted,” or have never even heard of it, you will enjoy this show.

The residents of the tiny island of Perpendicular are an odd lot. They consist of 75 humans and 450 sheep; the most popular pastime is rock stacking; and their primary industry is a wonky Viagra factory which leaks fumes — much to the delight of many inhabitants (one whiff will get you stiff). They are blessed with a cadre of three misfit priests, Father Finn Flannagan (who is crass, lustful and perpetually drunk), Father Dermott McDermott (who is woefully naive and daft), and the eternally put-upon Father Ned (who does his best to oversee this circus). Add to this a dotty (and possibly murderous) housekeeper and you have the setting for a delightful farce.

The story centers on the impending visit to the island by His Holiness himself, The Pope. He is visiting the far-flung parishes across the globe and has decided that Perpendicular Island would be a fitting representation of the Irish. The Bishop then shows up to try to get this madhouse in order and not disgrace his position, or the church as a whole.
There is also the arrival of an ad agency to name Father Flannagan as their spokesperson since he is the primary consumer of their product, Boggy Dew Whiskey, as well as a spunky young reporter from the area news show. Of course, hilarity ensues.
So, avail yourself of the offerings of The District Theater’s bar, sit back and prepare to laugh yer feckin’ arse off.
Presented by Clerical Error Productions, performances are on the Cabaret stage of the District Theatre (formerly Theatre on the Square), 627 Mass Ave.