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Wednesday, September 3, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 60.0° F  Fair
The Daily
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Hunger Games parody The Hungry, Hungry Games fills bellies with laughs at Overture
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Kat's archery skills are complemented by talents like talking smack and rapping.

The Hungry, Hungry Games comes from the masterminds behind Spank! The Fifty Shades Parody, complete with rap battles, a twisted romance and mutant bears. It honors Suzanne Collins' 2008 novel, The Hunger Games -- and the 2012 movie it inspired -- by satirizing it. The show was staged at the Capitol Theater on Friday and Saturday.

The story follows teen heroine Kat Evans in her quest to survive a battle to the death, which the country's leaders organize each year to entertain themselves. Featuring a five-person cast, the show plays off of Collins' macabre storyline about humans hunting one another. What results is a comedic tale of endurance and the search for love.

Though the show's storyline follows that of the original movie and book, the content sets itself apart with its hilarity. The unusual names of the Hunger Games characters are one target. After taking her sister Prius' place in the games, Kat must find a way to survive. Her archery skills are complemented by talents like talking smack and rapping. In her fight to stay alive, Kat encounters numerous challenges and plot twists that nobody could see coming. Headed by a wizard-like fellow, President Snoo and announcer Influenza Babygap, among others, the games show how ridiculous it is that nearly a dozen districts could not band together to overthrow the government in the original story.

Almost every actor jumps roles throughout the show, aside from lead Emma Orelove. Her consistent sarcasm and confusion perfectly parody the seriousness of the original story, and her very dramatic demeanor fits surprisingly well in the context of the show. Hannah Rose Solow (Ruth, Tonka Bookweenis, Influenza Babygap, Sprinkler Frappuccino, Shelly, Glitter) sets the bar high by fleshing out each of her characters. As Ruth, a showtune-loving gal from the agriculture district, Solow tap dances her way to a semi-dramatic death. The flamboyant Peter (David Raposo) is a funny caricature of Peeta, a central character from the original film and book. The gluten-intolerant son of a baker, he is skilled in camouflage, but not so skilled when it comes to rap battles and true survival techniques. Raposo wonderfully characterized Peter's awkwardness and smoothly transitioned into Gabe, Kat's attractive best friend and narcissistic loverboy.

Some of the show's jokes fell flat, or may have been confusing to those who've never seen the movie or read the book. But overall, The Hungry Hungry Games surprised me with its talent and hilarity, leaving me hungry for more.

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