Review: New Rep’s ‘Jimmy Titanic’ never lets go…of the humor

ENTB_JimmyTitanic_3c_617

Though “Jimmy Titanic” may lack the Hollywood sizzle of the film “Titanic,” this charming, compelling interpretation of one of the biggest maritime disasters of all time is far more appealing.

As it turns out, simple storytelling, dry Irish humor, and an incredibly talented creative team are all you really need to capture the gut-wrenching horror and seemingly inhumane reality of the ill-fated ship’s calamitous date with destiny. And yet, this one-man play is also a finely tuned comedic production. With nothing more than a black box and Tyler Lambert-Perkins’ impeccably-executed lighting design, Colin Hamell takes the audience on a journey from Belfast to heaven courtesy of 20-plus intriguing — and sometimes outlandish — characters.

Hamell effortlessly morphs from mortal characters like Jimmy Boylan and Tommy Mackey (the story’s main characters) into celestial beings like the swishy, effeminate angel Gabriel and heaven’s ladies’ man, title character Jimmy Titanic, with little more than a slight gesture or vocal inflection.
The transitions are seamless and quick, but hardly effortless. Hamell is a whirlwind of activity in an 80-minute performance that vacillates between hilarity and heartbreak at lightning speed. Whether regaling the crowd with tales of his dating life in heaven (where the women love men who perished on the Titanic), playing the blame game in Belfast, or watching the ship depart wondering “what (do) they have in America that we don’t have here in Cork?,” Hamell’s characters are all consistently masterful storytellers.

Be prepared to laugh out loud one minute while choking back tears the next. By adding names and faces, whether real or fanciful, playwright Bernard McMullan finds fresh fodder in old material. Likewise, director Carmel O’Reilly leaves no stone unturned in her tender and intermittently quirky interpretation of the tale that’s been told many times before — but never quite like this.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.