Friday, March 4, 2011

Spy Garbo *

Garbo was the British codename for double agent Juan Pujol Garcia, whose misinformation caused the Nazis to misdeploy their forces before the Normandy invasion. Spy Garbo is the misleading title of a play by Sheila Schwartz now at 3LD Art & Technology Center downtown. Spy Garbo not only fails to appear in the play, but is barely mentioned until the last five minutes. As I understand it, the mission of 3-Legged Dog is to offer theatrical works that make extensive use of cutting-edge multimedia techniques. This would be fine if the media served the play, but in this case the cart seems to be before the horse. The play is a meandering 82-minute conversation set in limbo during which Generalissimo Franco (Steven Rattazzi), spy Kim Philby (Chad Hoeppner) and German double agent Admiral Canaris (Wilhelm Canaris) complain about posterity's unfair treatment. All the speechifying seems little more than an excuse to demonstrate an impressive array of projections and sound effects, which often have only a tenuous connection to the play. A quick look around led me to the conclusion that the target audience is under 30.

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