Caulklon the Volton

“Caulklon the Volton”
a kate west review
written and performed by Ted Michaels, directed by Karen Maruyama
at the Groundlings Theatre, 7307 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, 90046
(323) 934-4747, Running April 5, 19, 26 at 8 p.m. Tickets $7

From the mind of Ted Michaels (a frightening place), who is yet another fabulously talented Groundling, comes an insanely original new one-act, “Caulklon the Volton,” performing in the house of comedic insanity: the Groundlings Theatre. The title refers to a space creature that appears to George W. Bush in a demented dream, threatening to enslave the population of the earth and keep them all in his stomach. The premise alone (almost) prepares you for the truly bizarre story about to unfold.

For those unfamiliar with past Groundlings main company shows, Michaels is known for his eccentrically intense characters such as a coal miner performing stand-up comedy and a Spaniard who rescues a depressed office worker from the doldrums of everyday life. In this production, he portrays a full range of characters, from the daydreaming current president George W., George Bailey from “It’s a Wonderful Life” and past president F.D.R. to Batman, Robin and the amazing Caulklon the Volton himself. We never find out what a Volton is, but it sounds very scary and is present via George W.’s answering machine and speaker phone.

Groundlings Alumna Karen Maruyama’s fast-paced directing keeps up a spirited energy, matching Michaels’ manically enthusiastic method of jumping in and out of character. Greg Kanaga, Groundlings band member, joins in the fun with the occasional odd character as well as providing the music. This is a wonderfully unique performance which must be seen to be believed. It is great, wild fun and a very impressive insight into the type of talent the Groundlings nurture and revere. Highly, highly recommended.

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