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A CurtainUp Review
Roy is a little slice of 1950s Americana sprung to life. He's a Boy Scout, desperate to become the first Boy Scout ever to earn all 122 merit badges. He's also 28-year-old, ten years older than the mandatory cut-off for Scouts— and old enough to prompt questions about pedophilia from his long-suffering Scoutmaster. But Roy is no pedophile. He's merely shy, earnest, and more than a little naïve. Too afraid to face the "real" world after the suicide of his girlfriend, he retreats back into the safe and structured world of Scouting. Then one day, Jessica shows up, claiming to be the sister of Roy's Scoutmaster. She's obviously unstable, but Roy is too naïve (or smitten) to notice. He loans her money, invites her in, and she soon learns about his new job—cleaning house for Mrs. Penderpoint, an eccentric old rich lady. Jessica convinces Roy to steal something valuable, and it all goes downhill from there. Roy is drawn deeper and deeper into Jessica's trap, and he finally learns her real identity—which comes as a surprise to the audience, as well.
Greg McFadden plays Roy as so earnest and heartfelt that the black comedy falls flat. Nest to his sincerity, Jessica's (Tara Falk) outré behavior comes across as shrill, rather than flamboyant. And Mrs. Penderpoint (Glynis Bell), written to be a comical stereotype, is instead merely a crazy lady. With a more predictable set-up and ending, McFadden's boyish honesty would be sweet, a natural foil to the craziness around him. Here it is unfortunately misplaced, with all the big jokes falling flat. That's a shame, because playwright Matthew Schneck has a feel for black comedy. While his characters aren't exactly nuanced, the surprise ending is indeeda surprise. If only it fit with the rest of the production.
While Badge isn't all it could be, it's still funny and it raises an interesting question: Has old-fashioned Boy Scout morality, in the form of truth, honor, loyalty, wilderness survival, and doing a good deed every day, gone the way of the dodo?
Try onlineseats.com for great seats to
The Little Mermaid
Shrek The Musical
Easy-on-the budget super gift for yourself and your musical loving friends. Tons of gorgeous pictures.
Leonard Maltin's 2007 Movie Guide
At This Theater
Leonard Maltin's 2005 Movie Guide