“Victoria Martin: Math Team Queen” displays ecstatic fun

Lindsay Adams

Photo Credit: Micah Husereaux

Upon entering the theatre, the audience members greeted with a song by the band Click Five and taken back to his or her tweenage years and first concert. The music was a mix of nineties and more recent bubblegum and teeny bopper pop which set the stage marvelously for the show.

The show started with a monologue to catch the attention of audience members of all ages. The characters would, at times, speak directly to the audience, even including a bit of audience participation at the end.

“Victoria Martin: Math Team Queen” is unabashedly sweet and fun theatre, which are two things that one really doesn’t see enough. Especially with the rest of the Fringe slate tending toward darker, edgy, or more mature comedy, it was a refreshing change. However, the show still deals with issues like bullying, parental neglect, sexuality and female empowerment, with a light hand and a deft touch.

All of the actors brought high levels of enthusiasm, energy and physicality to their roles and were all fantastic. They were believable as teens, regardless of their actual age.

Daria LaGrand leads the show with panache as the titular character and the disruptive force in the math squad’s lives. Victoria Martin is one of the most popular sophomores at the school, who is pushed into joining the math squad to get out of trouble with a teacher. The all-male squad accepts her grudgingly as the school has told them of the need to have a girl on the team.

Tyler Eisenreich and Zach Chaykin, play two best friends, who are jokingly called the Gemini, whose friendship is tested by change. Their chemistry and believability as friends keeps the audience incredibly invested in their relationship. Benjamin Fleer does good work as Peter, a senior with early acceptance to Massachusetts Institute of Technology and some control issues, who is the leader of the geeky gang. Aaron Dupuis as Jimmy, the freshman, with a crush on Victoria, was the perfect blend of pathetic and lovable.

The show was flawlessly produced, from the projections to set, costumes, and lighting. Short scenes moved quickly. The cast sings songs while transitioning between scenes and sets, like “Hey Juliet” and “I’m Just a Kid.” Monologues from all characters were interspersed throughout the show, giving an inside perspective on what they are going through as events unfold.

This show could easily come off as trite and occasionally veered into the territory, but serious issues are addressed in a pleasantly subtle way. The performance didn’t feel, as such shows can, like an adult is speaking through the voice of a child. Instead the voices were young and genuine.

The only failings of the show were the failings of its genre, so the ending was not unexpected nor was the fledging romance that springs up between unofficial math team captain Peter and Victoria. However, the journey was filled with ecstatic fun and humor so that the audience was swept along happily, leaving the theatre humming pop songs with a smile.

The show will take place at the Unicorn Theatre July 26 at 9:30 p.m. For more information, visit kcfringe.org