Saturday, July 28, 2012

Off-Off-Broadway: The Apocalyptic Road Show

The Endtimes arrive before Godot in Road Show
(photo: Marc Marnie)

The Apocalyptic Road Show
Ice Factory 2012
written by John Clancy
directed by Peter Clerke

This proudly shabby comedy-with-songs only masquerades as a cabaret and doesn't even pretend to be a “road show”. A pair of down-at-heel performers (Brit Nancy Walsh and American Catherine Gillard) chirpily run through sketches and songs on the theme of the End of Days, an event that's characterized as part latter-day capitalism, part Evangelist dogma. The duo shows some chemistry, especially in a vaudevillian bit that happily riffs on the phrase “shit-grubber”. But the songs are lame, the apocalyptic vision is benign, and the characters are interchangeable—so much so that on the evening I attended, they confused each other's names! Pin the blame on the script, by John Clancy, that lacks a savagery which would lend vigor to its cynicism. Occasionally, TARS does indict the audience, safe in our First World indulgences. But by its end, the play pats us on the head and simply pleads sentimentally for a kinder world.


The Apocalyptic Road Show, part of the Ice Factory 2012, plays at the New Ohio Theater.


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