'Sinbad' provides comic relief

By Josh Dalton

Arizona Daily Wildcat

The Gaslight Theatre delivers an entertaining, farcical romp with its new production of the musical comedy "Sinbad, the Secret of Scheherazade."

The play opens in the palace of the Khalif (Tim Gilbert), who is Sinbad's employer and the father of his love, Shalamar (JoDee Kaiser). There is the usual clowning around to loosen up the crowd preceding the entrance of the villain, the Amir. And this Amir wastes no time. Before the end of the first scene he has threatened to kill Sinbad, torture the Khalif, and shrink and imprison Shalamar in a bottle if she does not tell him how to find Sinbad.

The Amir is after Sinbad because Sinbad is the only one that knows how to find the Island of Colossus, which is the location of the vast treasure of Alexander.

Clashes between Sinbad and the Amir and the ongoing search for the treasure comprise the story.

As various twists and turns of the play ensue, Sinbad's crew (Nick Seivert, Joe Cooper and Nancy LaViola) provides ample interludes of comic relief. Other great performances are delivered by Donna Davis as Sultana Delilah, and Tim Gilbert (more commonly known as "the guy with the eyes") in the roles of the Khalif and Aga, Sinbad's father.

As usual, the Gaslight's musical numbers for "Sinbad" are crazily creative and full of silliness.

Some of musical director Lisa Otey's featured songs include a parody of "Leroy Brown" called "Sinbad the Sailor man" and "Can't Trust Nobody," a spectacular number sung by the the Amir, among others.

Special effects were among the highlights of "Sinbad." A giant bird, a cyclops's arm, undead soldiers and shrinking women are all made surprisingly real.

Forgotten lines, missed entrances and other stage blunders always make for big laughs at the Gaslight, and "Sinbad" has its share. Although the particular instances vary from show to show, these gags stem from the consistent comedic style of Gaslight productions.

"Sinbad's" theme explores the value of monetary riches versus truth. Although the Gaslight's methods are more than a little campy, they always get to the moral in the end.

"Sinbad, the Secret of Scheherazade" will be run until Nov. 5. Call the Gaslight Theatre at 886-9428 for ticket information.

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