‘GIDEON AND THE BLUNDERSNORP’ – Michael Gordon Shapiro Provides Music, Mayhem and Monster – You Bring the Laughs!

By Ernest Kearney — All through the enforced isolation of the pandemic, denied my needed fix of theatrical smack, desperately watching Zoom shows presented on YouTube to cut the edge off my cravings like an AA dropout knocking back bottles of Nyquil, I dreamt of a show like —

Gideon, a colorful toe-tapping musical full of adventure, star-crossed lovers, evil villains, bales of belly-laughs, dashing dare-doing, thrilling escapes and a monstrous Blundersnorp!

Director Matthew Toronto, Producer Elise Dewsberry and the multi-talented Michael Gordon Shapiro are now my Holy Trinity of cheap theatrics!

Shapiro provides book, music, lyrics and all the “right stuff” for this rollicking romp set in “The age of adventure – so much adventure” as the opening ditty tells us.

A Troubadour (Ember Everett) recites for us the story of Gideon (Daniel Amerman) a poor stable boy who dreams of being one of the King’s guardsmen. He sees his opportunity after one of the King’s actual guardsman, Sir Hallock (Jeremy Lee Staple) passes by the stable on his way to discover what is terrorizing those living by the great forest.

No sooner has Sir Hallock rode off, than word arrives that ravaging those lands is the dreaded Blundersnorp!

Gideon is not really sure what a Blundersnorp is, other than dreadful, still he resolves to warn Sir Hallock and so “borrowing” a horse from the stable gallops off to find the King’s guardsman before he becomes the Blundersnorp’s chew toy.

What follows is a sweeping epic comparable to Game of Thrones but without the beheadings and that stabbing pregnant women stuff. And there’s no chowing down on raw horse heart… or for that matter any “thrones”… or “game.” And it’s not actually a “sweeping epic.” It’s closer to a… “dusting epic.” Much closer. But otherwise, it’s just like Game of Thrones just with a lot more “dusting” and… no “epic.

Everett, Amerman and Staple are excellent, as is Maggie Ek as the obligatory princess who is in mild distress and, aptly enough, Tyler Hayes Stilwill nearly steals the show as Trent the bandit.

In fact there’s not a weak link in the ensemble, and believe me I looked for one. (Sorry, it’s my job!)

Emily Jones, Casey Alcoser, Deborah Apodaca, Jenna Luck, Kaylor Toronto all demonstrate their professionalism and display their talent by giving 100 percent to their performances.

Fringe Award-Gold Medal-The TVolution

And so to the cast and company including Edward Hansen for designing stuff, Denise Barnett for not letting actors on stage naked, Nathan D. Lee for providing the noise, Alen Yen for his logo, the lights of Gregory Crafts who will someday forgive me for not liking Lenny, Thomas Buckley for shuffling the music notes, Jim Martyka for bugging everybody, Beth Wallan for managing everything and that nameless soul who made those swell horses goes the GOLD MEDAL.


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Gideon and the Blundersnorp
playing onstage at

520 N. Western Ave

Saturday August 21 2021, 2:00 PM

Saturday August 21 2021, 2:00 PM (virtual performance)

Saturday August 28 2021, 2:00 PM

Saturday August 28 2021, 2:00 PM (virtual performance)


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For Show Updates, Tickets and Additional Information Go To:


Written by

An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, "Among the Vipers" was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist, three times, in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. Kearney remains focused on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. His stage reviews and social essays can be found at TheTVolution.com and workingauthor.com. Follow him on Facebook.

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