Thursday, July 16, 2009


Photo: Kalli Newman
The title character of Lavaman, Casey Wimpee's literally visceral new play, is an animated monster created by Arnie (Michael Mason) for his comic book—or, as he insists, "graphic novel." The live action is interspersed with a number of amusing Lavaman animations, but the one it opens with is the most telling: Lavaman's cartoon bout of painful, multicolored flatulence and diarrhea turns out to presage the play's logorrhea. Told in a series of flashbacks, the story zeroes in on the events leading up to the protracted, violent end of one of the story's three former punk rockers. But unlike the songs the characters listen to and talk about, the play lacks a hook, for all its vehement verbosity and claustrophobic fury. In trying so hard to be provocative, this much too long effort ends up provoking only exhaustion and a mild nausea. Read the full review.

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