By: Jon Gnarr
Directed by: Jennifer Decker
January 25-26 2015
Mildred’s Umbrella Theatre Company proudly presented the Texas premiere reading of Hotel Volkswagen by Icelandic writer, comedian, actor, and former Mayor of Reykjavik Jón Gnarr. The readings were January 25, 2015 at 3pm and January 26, 2015 at 7pm at Studio 101. The show was directed by Mildred’s Artistic Director Jennifer Decker and featured James Belcher, Ron Reeder, Courtney Lomelo, John Dunn, Rod Todd, and Jon Harvey.
Synopsis:Palme and his son, Little Ziggy run into car trouble while they are traveling, but luckily, there is not only accommodation at the nearby Hotel Volkswagen, but the front desk manager is also a mechanic. While waiting for repairs, the travelers get to know their fellow guests, which include a gender-bending couple who cannot have children and a nostalgic former Nazi. Together, they discover that everyone has a questionable past, and it isn’t so easy to leave the Hotel Volkswagen, once one has checked in. This absurdist play with shades of an Ionesco influence was premiered in Iceland in 2012, and received its Texas premiere in this staged reading at Mildred’s Umbrella.
About the playwright: Jón Gnarr (1967), one of the most recognized comedians in Iceland, is a prolific author who has written great content for radio and television, as well as screenplays. He is one of the authors of the Duty series, and the movie Bjarnfreðarson for which he won the Edda award in 2010. In late 2009, in the bitter aftermath of Iceland’s banking crash, Gnarr founded “The Best Party” which sought to bring joy, humility and humanity back to Icelandic politics. Although dismissed as a “joke party” by the Icelandic political mainstream and national and international media, Gnarr’s ability to be equally sincere and satirical about his country’s political situation struck a chord with disillusioned and disoriented voters. The Best Party surprised all observers by winning the 2009 municipal elections in Iceland’s capital and Gnarr served as Mayor from 2010-2014. He is coming to Houston, Texas to serve as the first CENHS Writer-in-Residence at Rice University during Spring Semester 2015.
-James Belcher, Courtney Lomelo, Rod Todd, John Dunn, Lyndsay Sweeney, Jon Harvey