Randy’s Dandy Coaster Castle

IRT Theater, Manhattan

This play shares the behind-the-scenes secrets at a theme park… and they might surprise you!

By Andrew Andrews

Alexander Perez stars as Rye, a cynical carnie at Randy’s Dandy Coaster Castle, with Paula Aliya as Burgess. Original photos by Yamilet Limonta.

Ramón “Randy” Ramirez is having a hard time keeping his small, beachfront amusement park afloat. Six Flags just opened a shiny new location nearby, and his aging father’s medical bills have eaten away at his bottom line.

Life is also getting in the way of Randy’s newly-promoted manager Schubert, with her mother’s death on the horizon, and her work and life partner Rye complaining about the way she’s been treating him ever since she became his boss.

With happy-go-luck coworker Arlo rolling magical joints to help everyone get through the workday, and new recruit Burgess enthusiastic to become a model employee, the hodgepodge of personalities guide us through a not-so-typical work week at Randy’s Dandy Coaster Castle.

Perez, Susana Montoya Quinchia as Schubert, Luke Bond as Arlo, and Aliya. Not shown: Nate Betancourt and Teagan Kazia round out the cast.

Unless you can personally relate to the situation, the premise of a group of low-wage laborers trudging through the day-to-day monotony of their jobs might seem to make for a very uninteresting story.

Surprisingly, Randy’s packs just enough interpersonal tension and threat from outside forces to keep the audience engaged, and occasional, witty one-liners provide welcome comic relief to prevent the story from becoming tedious.

Although the script could use a little polish, and the ending is somewhat predictable, it’s already pretty strong.

With better-than-average props for a production of this caliber, the show held my attention with interesting lighting and sound effects, and an opening segment that could almost be called a synchronized modern dance routine.

Some cast members performed better than others, and I was surprised that the playwright—of all people—stood out as the person who could have used more rehearsal time before curtain.

Despite it’s shortcomings, Randy’s is nonetheless entertaining. And with a price tag of zero dollars, it’s certainly worth more than the cost of admission.

You won’t be amazed, but—unlike a significantly more expensive production I reviewed recently—at least you won’t be sorry you came.

Andrew Andrews attended Randy’s Dandy Coaster Castle at IRT Theater in Manhattan on Saturday, August 21, 2021 @ 7:30pm to write this review.