Tragedy parody of ‘Troutanic’ proportions — Triumvirate stages annual movie spoof

Photos by Jenny Neyman, Redoubt Reporter. Capt. Smith, played by Chris Jenness, is asleep at the wheel of Alaska’s premier new ferry, the Troutanic, in treacherous ice conditions.

Photos by Jenny Neyman, Redoubt Reporter. Capt. Smith, played by Chris Jenness, is asleep at the wheel of Alaska’s premier new ferry, the Troutanic, in treacherous ice conditions.

By Jenny Neyman

Redoubt Reporter

When it came time to pick the target of Triumvirate’s annual fish-themed movie parody show, the question wasn’t, why not “Titanic?” It was how, after eight of these shows, have they not already spoofed “Titanic?”

“‘Titanic’ is just begging for it, it’s just begging for parody. I’m surprised it took us this long to get to it, but it just occurred to us one day. We were thinking of what we could do this year and all of a sudden I thought, ‘Oh, of course,’” said Chris Jenness, with Triumvirate Theatre.

The 1997 James Cameron movie presents as big a target as the original ship did — the swooning of star-crossed lovers, the crooning of Celine Dion’s hit song (that now causes people to want to hit their radio if it comes on), the buffooning of an overly dramatic storyline. Any movie that takes itself so seriously is ripe for being lampooned.

“Another ice warning, sir. This one from the Princess Cruise lines vessel Arctic Princess,” warns First Officer Murdoch, to Capt. Smith.

“Humph. Probably too busy dumping a toxic mix of darkroom chemicals and sewage in the harbor to actually check their radar. I’m not concerned,” Smith replies.

That’s one of many running jokes throughout the script, the militant obliviousness to danger evidenced by the crew of the Troutanic, Alaska’s most luxurious new ferry.

“Did we ever find those binoculars for the lookouts?” Murdoch wants to know.

“Yes, but they were promptly nabbed by a pack of tourists looking for whales,” Capt. Smith replies.

“But sir …,” Murdoch says.

“Everything’s fine!” Smith retorts. “Nothing can stop man’s hubris! Full steam ahead!”

Capt. Smith, First Officer Murdoch (Joe Rizzo) and the bartender (Chris Pepper) oversee the loading of passengers (Carla Jenness and Judy Shields) into one of the few lifeboats aboard.

Capt. Smith, First Officer Murdoch (Joe Rizzo) and the bartender (Chris Pepper) oversee the loading of passengers (Carla Jenness and Judy Shields) into one of the few lifeboats aboard.

Local, as well as state and national, jokes are folded into the script.

“Look! A shooting star!” Jack points out to Rose.

“My father used to say that whenever you saw one, that somewhere, someone else had failed at signing up for health care on healthcare.gov,” Rose replies.

“Aren’t we supposed to wish on it? What would you wish for?” Jack asks.

“Something I can’t have,” Rose says.

“Fair oil tax reform in Alaska?” Jack replies.

The storyline is largely the same as in the film, as it’s overly dramatic enough to not really need much punching up. The iceberg, however, is decidedly less destructive in the “Troutanic” version.

“To the lifeboats!” Capt. Smith orders after hearing an off-putting crunching sound.

“But this ship can’t sink!” a passenger retorts.

Capt. Smith displays perhaps one of the other reasons the ship is doomed.

Capt. Smith displays perhaps one of the other reasons the ship is doomed.

“She is made of iron, sir. I assure you — she can, and she will,” Murdoch says.

“Hashtag ‘loss of life,’ hashtag ‘lawsuit,’ hashtag ‘free cruise?’” Tweets a tourist listening to the exchange.

Several Triumvirate move spoof veterans are back to anchor this year’s crew. The script is once again written by Carla Jenness, and acted by she and Chris, Joe and Paulene Rizzo, Judy Shields, Justin Smith, Shaylon Cochran, Rob Ernst, Tasha Thompson and Chris Pepper. New faces joining this year are Delana Duncan and Aaron Ashley, with the vocal talents of the Nikiski Acapella Choir.

The dinner theater performances are at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the banquet room at Mykel’s, with dinner at 6 p.m., the show at 7 p.m. and an outcry auction to follow. Tickets are $48, available at Mykel’s.

“We’re very happy that Alice (Kerkvliet, Mykel’s general manager) is hosting again. Mykel’s is always so easy to work with,” Jenness said. “And we’ve got some cool art stuff this year.”

Tickets on the Alaska Railroad and Alaska Airlines will be up for auction, as well as artwork by James Adcox, Donna Steele and Laura Faeo, among others, will be up for bid, as will donations by Kenai River Brewing Co. and Sugar Magnolia’s.

“It’s nice that it’s a community effort,” Jenness said.

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Filed under comedy, entertainment, theater

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