An acting teacher of mine used to say "Big isn't fake. The Rocky Mountains are big, but they aren't fake." Corn Productions, though not without its flaws, consistently takes this sentiment about truth in over-the-top comedy to heart.
Like most shows at Corn, "Nightmares on Lincoln Ave Too" boasts uber-committed players, unapologetically working to bring the funny. Centered on a group of teens gathered in an abandoned school to tell cautionary, scary stories, "Nightmares" is set in the 1990s. According to director Annelise Toft, this decision is meant to satirize Nickelodeon kid culture, a new development at the time. However, the '90s setting seems gimmicky, a cheap way to add laughs to an otherwise not-so-witty script. Another questionable choice: allowing the show to stretch almost two hours when a one act format might have better served the material.
Ranging from adequate to accomplished, the cast includes standout Lindsay Bartlett, whose flare for accents, versatility and comedic timing set her apart. Jamie Smith and Kevin Anderson also do some good work, delivering dialogue with dynamic commitment. Due to a personal emergency, I was unable to see the show in its entirety, but what I did witness was rarely LOL-funny. Some moments in "The Tale of the Ghost Pants" by Julia Weiss, and "The Tale of the Fashionable New Girl" by Richard Anderson amuse, though usually as a result of onstage business, not line quality.
Audience members seem entertained, but if the constant clinking of beer bottles is any indication, BYOB-ing significantly ups the humor factor. Without alcohol, the strung-together collection of wacky ghost stories induces a couple of smirks and a fervent wish for better material. The earnest actors deserve it.