Review: Djinn Joint (Velvet Duke Productions – Primetime Festival)

Velvet Wells as dJerald the Djinn standing in front of bushes

Velvet Wells is dJerald the Djinn, a wish granting genie, in Djinn Joint, part of the Primetime Festival, an online performance festival. They’re also a lovely person… or the world’s greatest actor.

Djinn Joint is essentially an improv show. The audience submits wishes, some in advance, some during the show, and dJerald either grants them or doesn’t. Sometimes the audience votes on whether to grant the wish. Voting isn’t always as straightforward as giving a thumbs-up or raising a hand, it can be very creative.

After he grants a wish dJerald sings about it. The songs are improvised and short and delightful. Wells has a singing voice that makes me think of a jazz singer. They sing their way in to and out of the show.

dJerald is under pressure to grant 1,000,000 wishes so he can retire. He has three Fallen Stars, Brenna Judkins, Caitlin Farley, and Brianna Unger, to help him but he’s feeling the stress of being a people-pleaser.

I like the way that Wells, who developed and directed the show, uses their dJerald character to talk a bit about their personal challenges. It’s nicely done and interspersed through the show; a good thing because a 60 minute show that was only about a djinn granting wishes could get boring.

The thing I didn’t like about the show has nothing to do with the show. It’s presented on a platform called Gather.Town which is billed as a “…video chat platform designed to make virtual interactions more human.”. I’m sure it does for most people people but it doesn’t for me. You create an avatar and then use arrow keys to navigate to the virtual theatre. I’m just not a ‘things moving around on the screen’ games person so my frustration with it is a personal preference.

Back to the show…

I enjoyed Djinn Joint. It’s charming and it’s suitable for the entire family. It has the best content warning I’ve ever seen, “we cannot predict what audience members will say”. My wish was granted. You’ll have to see the show for yourselves to find out if dJerald grants a million wishes and gets to retire.

Details:

  • Djinn Joint is part of the Primetime Festival
  • Performances are November 13 and 28, 2021 at 8:00pm and November 20 at 2:00pm
  • Tickets are pay what you can and range from $5 to $100
  • Tickets and passes are available online

Photo of Velvet Wells by Andie Wells

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