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LETTERS TO EDITOR
CurtainUp Los Angeles Review
Feast of Fools
by Gordon Osmond
The decision to go silent with this production was perhaps courageous, but most certainly unfortunate. For without a narrative framework to give voice to whatever objectives are in mind, the pure mime enters hallowed ground reserved for those who have overcome the handicap of muteness. And, as agile as he is, Hoyle does not find sure footing in that territory. Merciless mugging, especially when peppered with lapses into lavatorial humor, wears thin quickly and Hoyle's occasional pursuits of pathos are, for the most part, futile. Perhaps most importantly, Hoyle repeatedly shows us that he is capable of laughing (albeit silently) at his show more than anyone else possibly could. Audiences tend not to favor preemptive strikes.
Of course, radio silence is occasionally broken by Ms. Leishman's journeyman attacks on keyboards of various kinds, and, indeed, a saxophone. Why her vocal contribution is limited to a tepid takeoff of Dietrich's "Falling in Love Again" is anyone's guess, but at least she seemed to strike a responsive chord when she decided to observe a substantial part of the show through the bottom of a martini glass.
More than Marceau, Chaplin or Keaton, the evening's skits evoked memories of Dudley Moore, Victor Borge and Oscar Levant and Nanette Fabray in The Bandwagon. The somewhat forced-fed Feast of Fools dislodged none of them.
The evening was presented without an intermission which is becoming increasingly common. The reason usually given is the necessity for maintaining dramatic tension. The reason usually the case is that a playwright prefers to avoid the task of creating a "hook" at the end of Act I which will induce the audience to return to Act II. In presenting a collection of skits, it would seem that the latter is the only credible rationale. Eventually it is hoped that producers will discover that a sufficiently provoked audience member is perfectly capable of creating a personal interval.
6, 500 Comparative Phrases including 800 Shakespearean Metaphors by CurtainUp's editor.
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