Satirical revues have become a more and more popular theatrical genre during the last few years. They offer a versatile vehicle for all types of social and political commentary, and provide a good showcase for versatile new talent. The revue presented last weekend at the Experimental Theater of the Loeb Drama Center, "Pardon Me, I Was Here First!", makes good use of these potentialities.
"Pardon Me" was the initial production at the Experimental Theater, which will present a new play (for free) each weekend during the summer. Later efforts will feature, in addition to the regular company, summer school students in various capacities.
Written and acted by various members of the company, the nineteen sketches in the revue were imaginatively conceived and, for the most part, consistently well-presented. The most amusing piece depicted the six members of the cast promoting national policy in Madison Avenue advertising terms: disarmament ("Its so disarming"), democracy, and civil rights ("The new civil rights, with PL49, acts as an invisible shield against racial discrimination").
Other skits included a commentary on Boston's "mad strangler," who emerged as a confused neurotic with a home life as sad as the hoods in West Side Story.
The rest of the revue ranged over wider subject areas. Pat Dole and George Connolly touched on the trials of compact car "parking ("I thought it was your head, but it was only the steering wheel.") That dur- able dart board, the First Family, was treated quite well with a song about "Young Love"--Caroline was just "the girl next door" whom George Connolly met at the Easter egg roll.
Ruffin Cooper, Associate Producer of the Experimental Theater, did an excellent job of directing the well-paced production, but his choreography was less successful. The cast was probably equally at fault, however, for none of them, particularly the girls, danced with natural ease or grace.
The three girls in the cast were all able. Patricia Dole made good use of her fine figure in a bump and grind scene and was a fair comedienne. Her voice, unfortunately, was neither strong nor tuneful.
Both Virginia Mary Angelovich and Pamella Pauly were adept comediennes who slipped easily into a variety of roles. Miss Angelovich also had the advantage of a particularly good voice. Joel Martin's performance was slick and polished, and he too exhibited a fine singing voice.
George Connolly was the best comedian of the group and carried his songs off quite well. John Seeley's sketches were well-conceived, but often not well-developed.
This combination of talent and hard work produced a very entertaining evening. Hopefully the example will be followed in future Experimental productions