Front Row Reviews

“The Last Quiz Night on Earth” Delights with Fun-Filled Flair

In photo: Nora Summers, Danny Banales, Serena Elize Flores, Mike Schaeffer

Classic Rock greets the audience at Left Edge Theatre in The California, an inviting, open-space bar and event center. Sitting at a tall bar table, the music is suddenly interrupted by a special announcement from the Emergency Broadcast System: “This is not a test … an asteroid is on a collision course with earth … all attempts to destroy it have failed …”

The Four Horseman bar offers refuge for the doomed regular patrons who have gathered. But how do vivacious owner Kathy, (Serena Elize Flores) and her sequin-clad, multi-talented entertainer, Rav, (Danny Banales) distract the patrons from the looming apocalypse? With a trivia game, naturally! The audience is divided, and trivia answer sheets are distributed. Bar’s open.

Between “How many hearts does an octopus have?” in Round 1, and “What country’s flag am I holding up?” in Round 2, clever Playwright Allison Carr intertwines the chaos of the outside world.

Kathy’s lamenting, long-lost brother, Bobby (Mike Schaeffer) rushes in. He seeks forgiveness for his nonsupport of the family business. He excitedly exclaims that people are running down streets, roads deadlocked.

Rav’s old love-struck high school friend, Fran (Nora Summers), professes her unwavering love for him amidst the oncoming apocalyptic event.

Directors Jenny Hollingworth and Argo Thompson keep the pace brisk, the drama high, as the four actors supply enough exaggerated humor to distract the audience from the impending doom.

Serena Elize Flores, Danny Banales

Yet beneath the surface of “How many times did so and so appear in the TV sitcom, Office?” snippets of real panic emerge. “I don’t want to die at work.” “You’re showing me sides of you I have never seen before.” “We need to be with people, family, community.” These laments underline the gravity of the situation.     

The EBS Announcements reverberate. The audience pauses to listen as Lighting Director Ryan Severt’s lights flash, creating an eerie ambiance. Sound and Stage Manager Isabelle McLoone’s atmospheric sounds heightens the mood including music from an old radio-single-tape player.

The game goes on, and the audiance reacts to the humor of each other’s answers.

The person with the most correct answers win, as the asteroid plummets to earth.

“The Last Quiz Night on Earth” is too much fun to miss.

“The Last Quiz Night on Earth” by Allison Carr, directed by Jenny Hollingworth and Argo Thompson at Left Edge Theatre, Santa Rosa, California, to Saturday, April 13, 2024

Cast: Danny Banales, Serena Elize Flores, Mike Schaeffer, Nora Summers