Jacob Reviews….Thank You Notes: Headed to Heaven with ‘Flat Jimmy Fallon’


Thank You Notes Fringe Festival

Vicki Vodrey’s “Thank You Notes: Headed to Heaven with ‘Flat Jimmy Fallon'” is one of the best plays that are playing in this year’s Kansas City Fringe Festival. (Photo property of Lot in Life Productions, LLC & Egads Theatre).

By: Jacob Elyachar

The Kansas City Fringe Festival is an 11-day festival celebrating the best in Kansas City pop culture from theatrical productions to art.   If you head to the Kansas City Fringe Festival, make sure you check out Thank You Notes: Headed to Heaven with ‘Flat Jimmy Fallon.’    Written by Vicki Vodrey, this 60-minute dark comedy focuses on a funeral gone awry because of Thank You Notes, a popular segment featured on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.   

Thank You Notes focus on the funeral of Angela (Vanessa Severo), a woman who was not only obsessed with Jimmy Fallon, but she and her twin brother: Ethan (Scott Cox) shared a dark secret that is slowly revealed at the funeral.    Supporting Ethan during this challenging service is his loyal wife, Betsy (Mandy Mook), who helps her husband carry out Angela’s last wishes no matter how embarrassing or dark they are.

Vodrey successfully created a story that is filled with a combination of light and dark comedy imagery that will help create some hysterical and at times appalling scenes in the minds of audience members.     While Vodrey penned an intriguing play, it was director Steven Eubank, who effectively brings this black comedy to life on the Unicorn Theatre’s main stage.     Eubank, who is a directing veteran in the Kansas City area, has done a successful job inspiring the actors to correctly intrepid Vodrey’s script.

While the trio of actors that make up this cast successfully bring their A-game to this comedy, the MVP of the play award should go to Vanessa Severo.   Severo, who portrays the deceased Angela, perfectly makes the audience sympathize with her character through her happy and dark moments that shaped her life.    She also briefly showed off her dancing ability in one of the funniest scenes in the dark comedy.    One thing that would impress the audience is that Severo and Scott Cox are in sync while Severo delivers her monologues as Cox’s Ethan read the deranged Thank You Notes.

Final thoughts and grade: This dark comedy is one of the finest one-act plays that I have seen.   Vodrey’s script, Eubank’s directing, Severo’s commanding performance and a life-sized cutout of Jimmy Fallon add up to be one of the Fringe Festival’s excellent shows.  A

To learn more about the Kansas City Fringe Festival, head to their Website: http://www.kcfringe.org/2012/index.php


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