Bombus and Beryline at the Gremlin

Deogracias Lerma

You can spend all the money you want on a play, but you can't fake real emotion. Four Humors' latest piece is the antithesis of that — it packs plenty of feeling into a bare-bones production. The set is little more than a square of artificial turf and a screen, which displays the show's colorful backdrops via an overhead projector. Co-creator Ryan Lear is the orchestra, primarily playing ukulele and kazoo. The handmade qualities give the show extra charm, but the script, crafted by a mix of adults and children, and the performances have that in spades. The play follows a simple arc. Bombus is a bumblebee who can't fly. Beryline is a hummingbird who dreams of being the first of her kind to reach the midnight iris, which only blooms once and at night. That's a problem because her kind can't see at night. Bombus agrees to help her but doesn't mention he can't fly. Refreshingly, that's mainly about Bombus's own pride rather than something more sinister. Meanwhile, the friendship between the two develops in a real and charming way. Neither of them is the brightest bulb (come on, it's a bumblebee and a hummingbird), but the joy they take in being together is infectious. A lot of that comes down to the actors, Jason Ballweber and Rachel Petrie, who give their characters so much warmth. A bright, charming script and a delightful aesthetic make the production perfect for audiences of all ages.

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