SALT LAKE CITY — The Secret Son of Hitler, produced by Kallisti Theatre Company, and written by Elise C. Hanson-Barnett and Justin D. Bradley, is like a miniature musical set in 1945 with a few modern anachronisms thrown in, like a cell phone and references to modern day pop culture. The result is a fun farce worth the time of audiences at the Great Salt Lake Fringe Festival.
It was about dinner with President Truman and his wife. Then a bus crashes nearby and the passengers seek shelter in the same house. Craziness was brought on by all the hilarious characters, including a German spy with his many accents.
Elise C. Hanson-Barnett played Virginia Mayo with the most hilarious “rich lady” accent of all, and every time she started talking I just wanted to laugh at how she was saying the lines, and not just the hilarious lines she had. She also opened up a can of mayonnaise and began to eat it with a spoon. It was hilariously gross.
One running gag was to have all the characters break the fourth with just a glance at the audience. One time, the entire cast paused for 5 seconds, staring at the audience after Madeline Thatcher, playing Margaret Truman (daughter of the president), expertly said the line, “One generation’s tragedy is another generation’s diverting farcical smash hit,” thus commenting upon the show they were in.
But my favorite moment was when someone mentioned the scheme to put one ingredient in bread in the 1950’s to ensure that half a century later it would cause many people to be gluten intolerant. Thank you, yeast.
The only thing I wished different was the speed and accuracy of the cast’s voices. The play was just too fast overall. I know it was supposed to be a rapid farce, but when the articulation is lost and the sentence cannot be understood, the play loses its humor. That was a disappointment because the jokes I heard were so funny. I wanted more.
Still, for a fun experience The Secret Son of Hitler this is a good choice for the Fringe.