“LOL” Will Make You Laugh Out Loud


Clarion photo Ariel Harmon

By Ariel Harmon

The last night of “LOL: A Modern Computer Farce,” was overcrowded, hot, and totally worth it. The Company of Warriors’ most recent play was a crowd pleaser and kept the house ready for a laugh.

With a five minute delay on the starting time and the drama room completely crowded, it would seem like the play was off to a slow start. William Balmer, a junior and one of the director’s, helped the last of the audience find their seats. When the lights started to go out and the play began to start, it seemed like it would be a confusing night. However, as soon as the stage was lit and the character Donald Rice (Duncan Cass) started talking on the phone with his boss Dean Burder (Harry Melanson-Shaw), the crowd immediately loved it. With sarcasm fit for a high school audience, even the little jokes got big laughs.

It was clear that the actors were well cast. The directors picked their cast very carefully with attention to how the actors would take on their characters. With a different cast, the play would have been very different. The setting of the play was in a one room office with computers featuring pepe screen savers, file cabinets, and three certifications hanging on the wall ready to fall off at the slightest tremor. The set was nice and clean–not too crowded and had enough space for the actors to do their thing.   

The play was about Dr. Rice (Duncan Cass), head of his university’s computer department. The play centered on Dr. Rice’s big demo of his department’s financial prediction program called ALICE in front of a bunch of hotshot Texas investors. The only problem is that ALICE is dead.

With a meeting with Burder (Harry Melanson-Shaw), the dean of the school, Dr. Rice and his computer department team, Wanda (Emily DeMaderios) and Jack (Seth Prevatte) must find a way to make the demo go on. Things get complicated when the head of the investors, Tex Rider (Gabe Beck) comes in and overhears Dr. Rice telling Jack about how ALICE is dead, who Tex believes is Dr. Rice’s only daughter’s name. Dr. Rice’s real daughter, Jenny (Maddi Parvankin), however, has eloped with Jack and is pregnant. Jenny is also thinking of naming her baby-to-be Alice, and to make matters even more complicated, Dr. Terri Rice (Rosie Allison-Brown), Dr. Rice’s wife, is also expecting news from the hospital on whether she is pregnant or not. As Dr. Rice tries to keep his stories and lies straight while finding the time to fix ALICE, confusion and misunderstanding are ever present, and life gets a whole lot more complicated when the janitor, Fletch (Zoe Kass), tries to help.

If that wasn’t enough, things take a turn for the worst when Australian deli owner, Mel (Ella Devito), delivers bad roast beef sandwiches which cause Tex Rider to pass out in Dr. Rice’s office right before Dean Burder comes in for a preview. As the dean is waiting to meet the passed out Tex Rider, deli owner Mel becomes a stand in for the unconscious Tex, trying to talk about investing. All this is occurring while the ever unhappy Wanda is trying to find the backup tapes of ALICE and her older counterpart SARAH, at the same time as Tex’s wife Charlene (Oz Turner), is trying to hit on Dr. Rice. After, Jack tells Dr. Rice about marrying his daughter and some blackmail both he and Wanda crafted. Following that, Dr. Rice and his team find the backup tapes of ALICE and SARAH, and Wanda goes to give the demo while Dr. Rice has a long needed talk with his family. Near the end, Fletch gives a completely wrong summary speech. Concluding the play, Dr. Rice and Jack eat a meat pie they found was made by Mel’s Deli, prompting the last scene, which includes Mel yelling to not eat the pie and everyone freezing with a different reaction.

“LOL” was amazing, from all the planned jokes, to the pictures falling off the walls when a door was slammed. There were so many things about this play that if the directors had done differently it wouldn’t have been as great and entertaining for the audience. “LOL” definitely changed from the first night to closing night as well–the actors got more comfortable and they were able to improve their roles.

“LOL” was a fantastic play and had all the right elements to keep the audience awake and alert. I would make all my friends go just so they would agree with me about how awesome it was. Even if you don’t like plays, “LOL” makes more sense because it seems more like a complicated TV show than a play. Teens can understand it more because what’s more fun than watching drama unfold and not having to do anything about it? “LOL: A Modern Computer Farce”, was a wonderful play and amazingly directed and performed by Cleveland students.