Having at least a passing knowledge of HBO’s “Game Of Thrones” is a plus when it comes to the fully embracing the totally over the top spoof “Graeme Of Thrones,” though even those walking into the Broadway Playhouse completely cold off the street are sure to let out at least a few deep belly roars every now and then. Of course, anyone who’s a faithful fan of the TV fantasy saga is a prime candidate for this clever (albeit adult-themed) trip through the Seven Kingdoms, and outside of the fact that opening night had the unfortunate calendar conflict with the final night of the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series, chances are the rest of its run can follow in the sold out tradition of London’s West End.
In fact, everyone can likely agree that Graeme and company’s closing attempt to predict the outcome of Martin’s arc could very well be worth betting on, though without giving too much away, let’s just say the ragtag crew finally gets to use the animatronic dragon of their dreams and laughs abound all the way to catastrophic conclusion.
The unauthorized tale centers around fictional “Thrones” fan Graeme (Ali Brice), who is so passionate about the program, he wants to create a stage adaptation with a little help from his best friend Paul (Michael Condron, who was Bowen Marsh in seasons 5 and 6 of “Game Of Thrones”) and long-time love interest Bryony (Libby Northedge) that would make George R.R. Martin proud. But with barely a budget, the proper amount of performers or enough talent to actually mount a production of this enormous stature, it’s quite a long shot the otherwise well-intended attempt will ever amount to anything.
Add in hitting just about every road block imaginable, props straight out of a dollar store, plus perhaps most importantly, hysterical interpretations of the show’s signature characters (including Tyrion, Jaime and Cersei Lannister, Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow, to name but a few), and “Graeme Of Thrones” is definitely a hoot. No matter if it’s the opening title’s montage or a multitude of famous scenes between the battlefield and the bedroom, the three co-stars are positively mind-blowing at switching roles, costumes, wigs, accents and sound effects.
Contributing to the humor is the constant bickering that takes place amongst the pals, whose personalities consist of the deadpan serious Graeme, the aloof Paul and the ultra-serious interpretative actress Bryony. While director of sorts Graeme wants to play each scene fairly true to form, Bryony is constantly undermining his authority by trying to come up with an abstract idea accompanied by equally absurd imagery (particularly a segment involving the first day of her period, a leaf blower and red confetti hearts, along with a few others with intended nudity performed in nudie suits).
No, this isn’t a show for kids and even some of the adults unfamiliar with the suggestive elements of the series may squirm, but considering it’s always carried out in such an intentionally ridiculous manner, it’s hard to stay offended for long. In fact, everyone can likely agree that Graeme and company’s closing attempt to predict the outcome of Martin’s arc could very well be worth betting on, though without giving too much away, let’s just say the ragtag crew finally gets to use the animatronic dragon of their dreams and laughs abound all the way to catastrophic conclusion.
“Graeme Of Thrones” continues various dates and times through November 13 at the Broadway Playhouse. For additional details, visit BroadwayInChicago.com.