Saturday, July 09, 2005

Mmmm.... Delicious Jews....

Tonight's show was Amerikafka at Trap Door. Lots of good, funky stuff- puns, songs, nudity, puppets, puppets engaging in songs and nudity. Maybe too much stuff? It's two plus hours long, and the first act especially spent too much time circling about.

It's about Kafka's love of the Yiddish theatre, with a bit of biographical portrait. Also, it's a Yiddish style staging of Kafka's unfinished novel, Amerika, with Kafka as audience member and occasional interlocuter. Also, Kafka is dead, and the play is an attempt to exorcise his dybbuk from a world that has moved on into the sort of tragedies he can imagine only too easily. Also, Kafka is naked.

Great, weird staging tricks are all over. The jokes, irreverent and foul, are also great, but there should have been more of them. Better jokes to weirdness ratio. This is practically a vaudeville tradition, after all. The amount of nudity, however, was pretty good! Full marks. Also, at least one song that I want a copy of.

This kid they've got playing Kafka is fantastic... haunted eyes, gaunt frame, intensely baby bird. The cast is very huge though, and a little uneven. One actor was really solid, but didn't have quite enough oomph for his ultra-demanding part. And a couple of actresses who can't project or enunciate managed to sneak in. I mean, I'm five feet away from you. It shouldn't be difficult for me to hear what you are saying.

I think the venue is one of my favorites so far. Storefronts are for punks! This one is actually behind a restaurant- the very lovely Jane's. The Leopard Lounge is right next dooranges, and there's plenty of time to nip over there during intermission for a martini special. Not that I would do that. But you could!
The theatre itself is small, of course, but newly renovated, with a decent tech set-up. Their bathroom is shockingly lovely. Yes, shockingly. I've been to a lot of storefront theatre bathrooms. Their backstage is...well... after bows the actors filed off and were seen pulling a curtain closed behind them. The curtain bulged out. Awww.


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