Review: Catutstrophe


The light saber fight in the play “Catutstrophe,” a mix between Ancient Egypt and Star Wars. LAUREN MAHONEY / SAGAMORE STAFF

Lauren Mahoney, Staff Writer

A high-stakes lightsaber battle is not a scene you would expect to take place in front of the tomb of King Tut, but that is exactly the climax of the high school’s festival play, “Catutstrophe.” The show, directed by drama teachers Mary Mastandrea and Mark Vanderzee, was performed on March 10 and 11.

“Catutstrophe,” the high school’s entry to the 2016 Massachusetts High School Drama Festival, delivers a traditional story surrounding Egyptian history with creative Star Wars parallels and plenty of comedy.

Written by the actors, the show is inspired by a true story of a statue’s beard on King Tut’s Tomb being knocked off by museum maintenance workers. The performers used the storyline and through a series of improvised scenes created the character and the show.

The show opens with King Tut’s tomb being placed in the basement of the fictional New England Museum of Art. The gold and blue replica of the tombs centers the stage, surrounded by boxes and shelves that inhabit the museum’s basement.

In the second scene, Charles Wright, a museum maintenance worker, played by sophomore Jacob Zachary-Flanders, and art restorer Alex Naghibi, played by senior Maeve Forti, have many conversations filled with awkward flirtation, a consistent comical relationship that the audience roots for throughout the show.

To complicate the relationship between Charles Wright and Alex Naghibi is arrogant Head Curator of the Modern Wing Preston Partridge, played by sophomore Phineas Hillard. Partridge’s confident antics and the conflicts between the ancient and modern art wings add another engaging aspect to the story.

With references to Yoda, Chewbacca, and many other Star Wars characters, the connections to Star Wars made what could have been a tired show about Egyptian artifacts into a energized and fun performance that had the audience in constant laughter.

The show was also entered into the Mass School Drama Festival, but did not advance into the semifinals. In addition, “Catutstrophe” was performed at the Massachusetts Collaborative Theatre Festival at Wellesley High School, a noncompetitive festival on Saturday March 13.