Sunday, June 17, 2007
I wish I'd live-blogged a review of Badge; then I wouldn't be stuck trying to recall the various off-kilter moments of this comedy. I liked the idea of a 28-year-old, Roy, trying to stay in the scouts because of how inauthentic the world around him made him feel, and there seemed to be something noble in the pursuit of all 122 merit badges, even though I have no idea what those are and don't find it funny that the one he's missing is in theater. I also stop laughing when everybody is over-the-top, and grow irritated when I can second guess the playwright long before the twist: at that point, the only thing left is the comedy, and as I already mentioned before, it's way over-the-top, fueled on hot-air monologues and dropping more and more sensible shreds of ballast with every passing minute. The finale strives toward a combination of farce and Fight Club, and to be fair, that's exactly what it achieves. But those two belong together as much as a 28-year-old in the Boy Scouts, which leaves Matthew Schneck's play even less authentic than Roy's world.