Sunday, April 15, 2007

Essential Self-Defense

Am I just not hip enough for Essential Self-Defense? Dysfunctional humor is all too easy to write: just introduce characters who constantly say the unexpected (e.g., "Dolphins don't talk to terrorists") and you've got yourself a script. But awkward, funny lines do not a show make: this is Jack Goes Boating off the deep end, the Duranged end, and all you really need to do is replace the summer house of Betty's Summer Vacation with Kip's Karaoke Bar to see the same. I'm more impressed with the musical talents of Adam Rapp and his cohorts, Ray Rizzo and Lucas Papaelias than with the show itself (though Paul Sparks and Heather Goldenhersh lead an excellently absurd cast). This is the same way I would describe the surreal early Sam Shepard, but I sincerely hope that Rapp grows up and does more with his talent than these shallow amusements. Sweet as the roller-skate scene is, perverse as Klieg the Butcher is, ridiculous as Yul and Sadie are about grammar, is this the best we can expect of modern comedy? The trappings of form without the substance of soul?

Also blogged by: [David] [Patrick]

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