Short Term Listings
BOOKS and CDs
LETTERS TO EDITOR
Writing for Us
A CurtainUp Review
I.E., In Other Words
Sam (Teddy Bergman) is a hick from Localtownsville who dreams of making it big in Citycity. His girlfriend Jen (Elizabeth Hoyt) only wants a quiet, simple life in the country, and pleads with Sam not to go. But his big vague dreams get the better of him, and away he goes in pursuit of adventure.
The story is merely the backdrop though. It's the highly stylized language that's the star of the show. The characters speak partly in "normal" language, partly in song, and partly in description: "Colloquial response," says one. "A quiet slow almost apologetic hello," says Jen at the bus stop. "Abrupt interruption!"cries another at a crucial moment.
At other times they speak in a strange amalgamation of the three: "I donít give a ratís ass about semantics, comma Claire! Exclamation point!". . . "Iíll just go and do something farcical in the den."
Nonsensical atonal Richard Maxwell-esque songs seem to be quite the theatrical rage lately, and I.E. features several fine examples, including one with a chorus of "Oats oats oats oats oats" and another entitled "Shut the Fuck Up." Similar to Godís Ear (currently playing a little farther uptown and previously revieewed) and the entire canon of Flea regular Mac Wellman, the language both subverts our expectations and takes us on a strange, rollicking ride.
Though about fifteen minutes too long I.E. is quite a lot of fun. The Bats are, as usual a fine, ongoing example of ensemble acting. Even "stars" Bergman and Hoyt donít upstage the rest.
Director Kip Fagan gets the pacing and the tongue-in-cheek atmosphere exactly right. As is always the case at the Flea, sets are minimal at best but props are used ingeniously. Live musicians provide the soundtrack, and the intentionally delayed cartoon sound effects are some of the funniest moments of the show.
Besides the already mentioned Mac Wellman and Jenny Schwart there a number of other playwrights like Chuck Mee and Melissa James Gibson (sic) who excel in this fashion for linguistically warped shows. Mark Greenfield seems destined to join their ranks.
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