A Comically Thrilling Dead Man's Cell Phone

November 9, 2016 | By Isabelle Hahn

“Dead Man’s Cell Phone” followed a curious and caring woman as she interjected herself into the life of a dead man. 


Northeastern University Department of Theatre’s production of “Dead Man’s Cell Phone,” directed by Jonathan Carr, was humorous, romantic and full of twists. 

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Photo Courtesy of Grant Terzakis

Jean, played by Eva Friedman, found herself irritated with the ring of a cell phone belonging to Gordon, played by Pablo Hernandez Basulto. When she tried to confront him, she realized he was dead. 


The plot is extreme, it was not realistic by any means and there were some areas that required more suspension of disbelief than others. 


“Jean takes a sudden stand and answers a stranger’s phone, launching herself on a profound and profoundly unexpected journey of connection, confabulation and con-something-else-fun,” said Carr.


In an oddly comedic show that incorporated romance and dramatic deaths, “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” will leave you chuckling after intense moments. The cast never failed to miss a beat in their collective comedic delivery. They truly worked as an ensemble to effectively transcend the humor.


The show was more than comedic jabs and it made you consider the importance of living in the moment, emphasizing the importance of human connection in a world obsessed with technology. 


I caught myself being more aware about using my cell phone, instead of interacting with people around me during intermission and after the show. 


The play was an immersive experience, with actors breaking the fourth wall, on occasion, to address the audience or ask a question. Basulto was able to capture the audience’s attention and keeping it. 


Lera Bamgbala, who played the Other Woman and the Stranger, had a stage presence that stuck out, her character added a thrill to the story. Bamgbala embodied her character perfectly—strong, confident and mysterious.


Friedman cannot be commended enough for captivating the audience while being the only active person on stage. She was able to communicate the issue of dealing with a dead man, through a conversation on the phone, which has the potential to lose the audience’s attention. 


The set, designed by Janet Bobcean and Eric Kelley, had a geometric theme. The pattern painted on the floor was complemented by the shape and movement of the walls as they shifted during different scenes.


Personally, I thought the transitions were seamless. I was incredibly impressed with the fluidity between the scenes that kept the play moving. 


Duration: 2hr 10mins with intermission 

Dates: Oct. 20 - 29 



Jean: Eva Friedman, CAMD ‘17

Gordon: Pablo Hernandez Basulto, CAMD ‘18

Mrs. Gottlieb: Megan Maloney, CAMD ‘16

Dwight: Adam Thomas, BCHS’19

Hermia: Helena Barth, SSH ‘17

The Other Woman/The Stranger: Lera Bamgbala CAMD ‘19, 

Ensemble: Alan Hanson CAMD ‘20, Claire Moorer CAMD ‘19, and Somaiya Rowland CAMD ‘20