Mercury – Theatre Review: Stray Cat Theatre, Tempe Center for the Arts, Tempe

Saturday, November 25, 2017
Valley Screen and Stage


Seen at its Friday night preview performance and running at a brisk 90 minutes without intermission, Mercury, as directed by Ron May, is a blacker than black comedy that uses cynicism, gallows humor, and general audience discomfort to get its laughs. Where a drama might only hint at taboos, black comedy points its finger. That doesn’t mean that events are necessarily funny, but by portraying situations and the characters themselves with such deliberate, broad strokes, the more serious subject matters of jealousy, hate, and the willingness to kill makes light of something that is practically unpalatable.

In this respect, it’s safe to say that Yockey has hit his target, even if the subject and its extremely adult approach, setup, and outcome will not be to everyone’s liking. His black comedy revels in things taboo and satirizes them while retaining the seriousness, even the horror. Yes, blood will be spilled. Whether you’ll actually laugh is down to personal taste, but if you do, it will come with great discomfort, so be prepared. But that, I suspect, is exactly what Yockey wants. Mercury is right up Stray Cat’s alley.