Monday, February 10, 2014

Stop Hitting Yourself **

To misquote Mae West, "too much of a gold thing can be wonderful." That could well describe the sight that greets you when you enter the Claire Tow Theater: 17 gold chandeliers of various shapes and sizes, a gold baby grand piano, oversized gold statues, gold palm trees and a fountain that spouts queso, a golden melted cheese. And let's not forget the gigantic dollar sign with flashing lights. How could we not be in for an evening of madcap frivolity with a dash of surrealism? Alas, 90 long minutes later you'll know how. A wisp of a plot -- something about a contest to win a good deed from the queen at her charity ball -- tries to knit together this intermittently entertaining melange of speechifying about selfishness, the environment and the nature of art, audience participation games, tap dancing, songs and a grand finale in which the actors attack each other with queso. I have a hunch that the members of the Austin-based theater collaborative Rude Mechs had considerably more fun putting the show together than the audience did watching it. I admire LCT3 for taking a risk on something so different, but in this case, the result was disappointing. Getting to see Mimi Lien's over-the-top set and Emily Rebholz's costumes was almost worth the $20 ticket price. By the way, I have absolutely no idea where the title came from.

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