Saturday, May 28, 2022

The Legend of the Waitress and the Robber

You have only a couple of days to catch the delightful and odd musical The Legend of the Waitress and the Robber, running at Dixon Place through Sunday May 29th. It's worth the trip.

Eunji Lim, Yura Noh, NamPyo Kim, Kyongsik Won, Ju Yeon Choi .
Photo: Stefan Hagen

Presented by Concrete Temple Theatre, Playfactory Mabangzen, and Yellow Bomb Inc., The Legend of the Waitress and the Robber is a bicultural mash-up of Friedrich Schiller’s play The Robbers and the Korean novel The Story of Hong Gildong. With a cast of actors from both the US and Korea, the show is performed in Korean and English, each supplemented by supertitles in the other language. It takes place in a dystopian setting where two people--the robber and the waitress, natch--choose to break away from the rules and restrictions and act from the heart. For the robber, that takes the form of separating people from their cell phones. For the waitress, it's "kidnapping" senior citizens who are being abused or neglected by their families and providing them with a friendly home. Unsurprisingly, (entertaining) chaos ensues.

While the storyline is a bit wobbly and unfocused, the songs, directions, and performances are good, and the show has a beguiling madcap sweetness. 

One of the show's main strengths is the scenery, designed by Carlo Adinolfi. Made up mostly of cardboard and plywood (I think), it lends the show a sense of fairy tale or cartoon. "Props" are charming drawings of the items on cardboard. Doors resemble the frames of cartoon panels. Combining simplicity, utility, and wit, the scenery gently anchors the show in its own reality.

The Legend of the Waitress and the Robber was written by Renee Philippi, with a score by Lewis Flinn. Philippi directed with Eric Nightengale. The cast includes Carlo Adinolfi, Rolls Andre, Ju Yeon Choi, Hye Young Chyun, Lisa Kitchens, Nam Pyo Kim, Won Kyongsik, Eunji Lim, James A. Pierce III, and Noh Yura. Costumes were designed by Laura Anderson Barbata; the musical directors are Jacob Kerzner and Hee Eun Kim; Quentin Madia is the Production Stage Manager.

Overall, the show is unique and lovely.

Wendy Caster

No comments: