Thursday, October 23, 2008

Dead Funny

Third Rail Repertory **Photo credit: Owen Carey**
October 3 - 26, 2008

Review by peanutduck

Skeletons figuratively, literally hanged in brilliant deadpan rendering of two scab-picking, impotent couples; nobody plays gawky mama’s boy like John Steinkamp. Benny Hill-era tributes perfectly executed but beg query: Second-generation Brits love ‘em, but do they translate? Barbed humor drags as Maureen Porter, initially spot-on, devolves into stock unhappy-wife routine.


Anonymous said...

I loved Maureen Porter the whole way through. This play was plenty funny, sure, but unexpectedly startling and poignant, too. Everybody's pitch perfect -- Gaslin squeaky like fingernails on a blackboard, Steinkamp adorably campy, Kupper bracingly irritating but with a surprise turn or two at the climax, and True a sympathetic lump who turns out to be far worse in the end than his simple-head murderer in Pillowman. Pity the poor crew that has to clean up the set after every show, though.

Kelley said...

Followspot is WAY off on part of that review. Maureen Porter walks a fine line between the desperation and comedy outlined in this script. She is believable in almost unbelievable circumstances. Every cast member was memorable yet sympathetic at times and dealt with the humor and relational drama with honesty and moment after moment of truth. Third Rail is living up to its name.

Anonymous said...

I too love third rail. The actors are amazing. The play was not. Couldn't connect to the comedy or the characters. A waste of good talent. And I found the nudity unnecessary.

Anonymous said...

The nudity was "unnecessary," or "it made me uncomfortable for no good reason I could see"? I thought it made perfect sense, assuming you're talking about True's character. Given the nature of the couple's marital troubles, I could totally see a marriage counselor urging such an exercise upon them; the point of the play being that, as vulnerable as the husband is made to look at the start (you feel at least as much sympathy for him then, if not more than for his wife), but turns out to be as cold and invulnerable as it's possible to be, by the end. He is made to appear vulnerable to his wife and to us, but in actuality he is absolutely not. That's part of the point of the nudity.