BEST EVENING AT THE THEATER Phoenix 2006 - Nearly Naked Theatre's Valhalla
We're still remembering fondly this production of Paul Rudnick's remarkably funny Valhalla, brought to us last winter by Damon Dering's Nearly Naked Theatre Company. Rudnick's naughty comedy was elevated by wonderful performances from Dion Johnson as a degenerate yokel with a heart of gold; Tim Shawver as the mad King Ludwig II; and Joseph Kremer as a hick whose exasperation at and confusion over his sexuality was appealing and good-natured, where it might have been churlish and annoying. Dering directed, creating a seamless interplay between the play's two distinct eras, and scenic designer T.J. Weltzien brought us both Bavaria and Texas in a mad hodgepodge of a set that was all newel posts and glimmering curtains. Both cast and crew gave their all, and we're still basking in the memory of a wild and wildly entertaining evening of theater.