Theater Review: First Folio's 'Star Wars'-Inspired Heist Comedy Examines Friends

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), February 1, 2019 | Go to article overview

Theater Review: First Folio's 'Star Wars'-Inspired Heist Comedy Examines Friends


Byline: Barbara Vitello bvitello@dailyherald.com

Theater review: First Folios Star Wars-inspired heist comedy examines friendship, obsession

"All Childish Things" - ? ? ?

"When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things."

Heeding the Apostle Pauls advice to the Corinthians would have saved the would-be master criminals in Joseph Zettelmaiers heist comedy "All Childish Things" a lot of trouble. And for at least one of them, a lot of pain. But that would have denied First Folio Theatre patrons the pleasure of Zettelmaiers pleasantly benign "Star Wars"-inspired comedy.

Directed by First Folio artistic associate Melanie Keller, "All Childish Things" is essentially an homage to friendship and its sometimes strained but ultimately unbreakable bonds masquerading as a caper farce.

The action centers on three 30-something men whose "Star Wars" obsession was cemented in 1977 with the release of "A New Hope." It was the same time their friendship was forged in the crucible of a grade school playground, where kids fascinated with science fiction fantasy typically found themselves the targets of bullies.

Fast forward to 2006. While their friendship, like their obsession, remains intact, their lives are decidedly less than heroic. Each works a dead-end job. Only one has a girlfriend, and shes rather peevish and doesnt share their long-held passion. Instead, she criticizes the "Star Wars" films for what she calls "empty heroism" and yanks the superfans chains by confusing "Star Trek" with "Star Wars." (Actress Stephanie Shums delivery suggests the mistake is intentional.)

Desperate to change their personal and professional narratives, the friends plot to steal rare "Star Wars" collectibles produced by onetime Cincinnati, Ohio, toy manufacturer Kenner Products.

The brains of the operation is Dave (Eric Eilersen), an information technology specialist and "Star Wars" connoisseur who hangs out in the finished basement of the Cincinnati home he shares with his mother (who is unseen but definitely heard). Dave devises a plan to infiltrate the warehouse where pal and aspiring rocker Carter (Alberto Mendoza) works as a stock boy. …

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