Strong Cast, Pizza, Beer Lift up ‘Money and Run’

By BETSY HUNTON Special to the Planet
Friday May 07, 2004

Impact Theatre is up to another one of its delightful pieces of nonsense, the three part Money and Run, staging it—as usual—at La Val’s Subterranean Theatre. That’s what the pizza parlor on Euclid Avenue has dubbed the small black stage in its basement where so many good theater companies spend time while they work their way up the theatrical ladder to more awe-inspiring quarters. But Director Christopher Morrison isn’t much interested in that stepping-stone kind of thing. 

Morrison, who helped found the company, sees La Val’s as an ideal venue for the audience Impact Theatre is designed to attract: 18- to 35-year- olds. He’s in favor of an atmosphere where people might feel like taking some pizza and beer down to catch the show. There’s idealism, as well as fun, in Morrison’s madness. He’s after the group of people who have to be wooed into live theater if there is going to be live theater at all in a few decades. 

And Christopher Morrison is legitimately proud of Impact’s success at reaching that goal. He says that at least 80 percent of their audience is from their young adult target group. He’s even prouder of the fact that he always gets at least one enthusiastic audience member after a production who tells him that it was the first live production that she, or he, has ever seen. 

This time, Impact is actually doing three different plays—separate episodes of the outrageous antics of “Money,” aka Robby Jean Marshall, played by Alexandra Creighton, and “Run,” (short for Jimmy Jake Mcallister, played by Casey Jackson) and the various villains and weirdoes they encounter as they struggle to keep the main nemesis, “Big Momma Bob,” from making good on various nefarious plans. (One of Bob’s more ambitious ideas is to tear down a Catholic orphanage in order to build “Liquor World,” the nation’s first and only alcohol-themed family fun park.) 

The three episodes are staged in sequence on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Money and Run meet in Episode 1 (Money, Take Run), when they both try holding up Big Mama’s Premium Liquor and Wine Emporium at the same time. However, it isn’t at all necessary to see the plays in any particular order. They aren’t going to make much more sense one way than they do another—good sense isn’t the point of these bubbles. You will, however, save yourself five bucks if you decide to get a “season pass” for all three. 

Impact has already established a reputation for reliably good productions, but Morrison is extraordinarily satisfied—as well he should be—with the cast. He says that “From top to bottom, this is the strongest cast we’ve ever had.” Perhaps the most remarkable thing is that they have actors for the lead roles who are even astonishingly appropriate physical fits for their roles. Alexandra Creighton and Casey Jackson appear to have been born to play Money and Run.  

The plays have been so successful in their home base of Seattle, Washington, that at least three more episodes have been written, including A Very Special Winter Holiday Special and A Terribly Spooky Halloween Special. Maybe we’ll be able to persuade Impact to pull these out of their bag of tricks when the right time comes.  

In the meantime, you could bank on a highly amusing evening (or three of them!) by checking out La Val’s. Oh, and by the way, don’t let that “18-35” demographic stuff scare you off. The humor is perfectly good grown-up stuff and Impact doesn’t check your age at the door.  


Impact Theatre’s Money and Run shows at 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through June 5 at La Val’s Subterranean, 1834 Euclid Ave. For tickets and information call 464-4468. www.impacttheatre.com.