Home of the original, professional production of Deer Camp the Musical (Story by Gene Jurek Music by Doug Spartz)
Lowry Theater, St Paul, 2009, 2009
Meyer Theatre, Green Bay, 2009
State Theatre, Eau Claire, 2009
Fargo Theatre, Fargo, 2009
For information on the our production Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 651-290-2290
Between the Beer and the Bull, Who has Time to Hunt?
Songs of the deer hunters
…If the men don’t bring home a deer, their wives might discover their deepest secret: They never actually hunt at deer camp…
This laugh-out-loud musical follows the guys from Elmwood, MN on their annual hunting trip to deer camp where they do anything but hunt!
But this year is different; after 15 years of coming home with nothing but a hangover, the guys are under a threat from their wives to “get a deer or else.”
That means no more hunting trips if they come back empty handed again.
What to do: shoot one? Buy one? Steal one? They try it all with hilarious results!
Read the reviews:
Saint Paul Pioneer Press Theater review: “Deer Camp” is a little too campy
By Quinton Skinner Special to the Pioneer Press Updated: 10/05/2009 03:54:07 PM CDT
It is probably not the most encouraging of signs that, after seeing a show and reflecting upon it during the drive home, you search your memory for favorite elements and come up with the prop design.
To be fair, Kris Detailleur does a nice job of dressing up the titular onstage deer camp: On a plaque, in place of a deer’s head, we have a crudely drawn outline of some horned beast. Crushed food boxes and myriad empty beers speak volumes to male-only squalor. And hanging in one corner is an old Brad Johnson No. 14 Vikings jersey with the “1” crossed out and the name “Favre” hand lettered above it.
We get the general tone before a word is spoken, with our four ostensible deer hunters sprawled about the cabin, about to wake up to that day’s hangover, executing a little repetitive tune of snores, gasps and prerecorded flatulence. It’s mildly funny and very good-natured, two descriptors that also fit what follows.
Turns out our hunters have never fired a shot, their trips to the cabin serving as an excuse to get away from their wives and imbibe rivers of suds. The spouses have served up an ultimatum this year, though: Bring home a real-live deer or consider the tradition finished. The cast’s comic timing is decent, with Eric Webster’s Diesel applying a bit of astringency and E.J. Subkoviak’s Moose as the comical dullard who steals a moment in the late going with a discourse on hunting calls that verges on professorial.
The big problem is that much of the remaining material simply isn’t very good. Long stretches of regular-dude banter often verge on stagnant, and it turns out there is only so much comic material to be mined from four guys drinking and circling an inconsequential predicament.
Musically, we’re in shallow waters. Much of the prerecorded backing sounds as though it could have been produced by a precocious sixth-grader on a battered ’80s Casio keyboard, and the cast is compelled to sing in husky-guy tones without much regard for such niceties as harmony (or in some cases, a tune). Songs run the thematic gamut from coupon-clipping wives, bingo and, making a reappearance, flatulence. Clearly, this is meant as a tongue-in-cheek exercise and a harmless diversion (albeit one with a deus ex machina that would make Scooby Doo blush).
You can’t help but come away feeling a measure of affection for this quartet of hapless louts. By the end, though, it doesn’t seem worthwhile to have spent nearly two hours observing their foibles (and leave untapped far funnier flatulence gags). What: “Deer Camp the Musical” When: Through Nov. 22 Where: Lowry Theater, 16 W. Fifth St., St. Paul Tickets: $29-$39. Information: 800-982-2787 or www.actorsmn.org/ Capsule: Deer Camp goes for homely charm but has the whiff of a stinker.