ADVERTISING AT CURTAINUP
Short Term Listings
BOOKS and CDs
LETTERS TO EDITOR
A CurtainUp Review
The play, directed by Ian Morgan, has a delightful, toy-filled set by Peter R. Feuchtwanger that seems to presage a fun-filled evening. Indeed it may provoke sly giggles among informed cartoon lovers, or some raucous guffaws from those who enjoy verbal combat. But for others, Rough Sketch may be a bit too rough and sketchy.
The plot gets under way when Barbara (Tina Benko) strides into the office, empties her pocketbook and prepares to work, only to discover that Dex (Matthew Lawler) has beat her at her own game and is already at work on his own drawings. It's lust at first sight. And before anyone can say, "Do you come here often?" the two are tearing off each others clothing.
That's probably the most interesting part of the play. The rest of its ninety-five minutes are devoted to heated discussions about the best way to make a teardrop and meditations on the role of art in animation and animation in the world. We also find out that Dex is a divorced alcoholic with a precocious daughter and Barbara is an emotional time-bomb with a strong libido.
Morgan insists on the two-dimensionality of the characters by having the actors bark out their lines and move with the exaggerated gestures of animated characters. Lawler rubbed his head so many times, it was a wonder he had any hair left at the end of the play.
Rough Sketch has an absurdist element that might have worked quite well if the characters had been more engaging. However, their devious machinations are as meaningless and extravagant as the actions of a super villain trying to take over the world, with none of the excitement or charm, people who live outside the immediacy of what they say. But Rough Sketch is not a cartoon; it is a play. Although Nacol can certainly string lines together, he doesn't create people who live outside the immediacy of what they say which adds up to a series of punch lines that very quickly loose their punch.