What happens when a psychiatrist tries to cover up his attempted seduction of a prospective secretary from a psychonalyst who can explain anything, a policeman whose primary concern is finding Winston Churchill's private parts, and his wife who wants her husband to give the secretarial job to a low-class hotel porter who possesses pornographic pictures of her taken the previous night during his attempted rape of her? What happens is chaos.
Joe Orten's satirical farce What The Butler Saw gives a zany view of the fine line between the sane and the insane. The play is a wild conglomeration of mistaken identities, costume changes (performed on stage), the disappearance of characters who never existed, and other madcap antics, all of which are somehow untangled in the final scene. Highlight performances are given by Leo-Pierre Roy and David Reiffel, who ham it up beautifully as incompetent representatives of the psychiatric profession.
The show, the premiere production of the Currier House Drama Society, was produced by David Frutkoff and jointly directed by the six-member cast. They call it "the other drag show in town." Final performances are this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 8 in the Currier Fishbowl. Tickets are $2.
Theater critics and detective stories are the butt of the jokes (what could possibly be funny about play reviewers?) in Tom Stoppard's play-within-a-play-within-a-play, The Real Inspector Hound. Or maybe that's a play-outside-a-play-etc? It's immutable essence isn't esoteric (humph) but I dare you to understand the ending. It's a zany play by the author of Travesties and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Dudley House is producing The Real Inspector Hound tonight through Sunday at Lehman Hall at 9 p.m.
One does not have to extol a radical party line to appreciate the avowedly political Passion of Antigona Perez. Only those who disfavor heroism and unalloyed democracy could find the play ideologically objectionable. Based on the Greek tragedy Antigone, the story is set in a modern Latin American distatorship where Antigona Perez has defied the State and now waits execution. The rape, tortune and brutality that is a way of life in such repressive regimes is minimal on stage. In fact, the play asks one to raise one's consciousness only so far as to accept that every action is a political action, that nothing can be done without political ramifications. Some of the cast turns in remarkable performances which overcome mishandled staging and a poorly translated script. What further distinguishes the cast is that they are all Harvard-Radcliffe undergraduates who broke the class barriers between techies and actors to help build the set. At the Loeb Mainstage tonight through Saturday at 8 p.m.
The assassination of a dictator and the breakdown of human relationships are the subjects of the very serious play being performed at the Ex this weekend. The first English production of the Austrian play The President, written in 1971 by Thomas Bernhard and translated by director Gizelle Faulkenberg's mother, will emphasize the traditional themes of decadence in a very modern way. Performances are tonight through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with a Saturday matinee at 3 p.m. Free tickets are available at the Loeb box office at noon the day before the performance.
With a plot complicated enough to confuse even the most well-connected in the audience and some song which might leave Jerome Kern wondering if pieces of his Showboat ever floated into Cambridge, the exuberant cast of leading men has taken its annual sidestep into the Hasty Pudding Theater. Cardinal Knowledge, at least ostensibly, is about a cardinal trying to track down the inheritance of his girlfriend in 17th century France but, as usual at the Hasty Pudding, it's the good time you have, not the money you lost that counts. And with the excellently choreographed, excellently executed dance numbers, and terrific stage design (not to mention the cork popping that goes on at most performances), good times you're certain to have. If you're still left a little uneasy, wondering if you haven't seen those unshapely calves and heard those borrowed gags in a bad dream somewhere before, just remember again, it's the good times (and the tradition) that counts. Performances run through the end of March.
Tom Stoppard's 1974 play Travesties sizzles in epigrams and bubbles with life for about another week at the Colonial Theatre in Boston. The Colonial is a superb playhouse, a child's conception of a theatre with gilt boxes and Michelangelo cherubs dancing on the ceiling. They've also got some $4.50 seats, and if you've missed the Tony winner for 1975--take your first chance and the Green Line down to see it.
It's an interesting proposition--Joyce and Lenin in Zurich together in 1918--and Stoppard runs with it. Seeing Travesties is like getting on a runaway rollercoaster of one-liners, reminiscences and digressions. The play careens wonderfully through history and facts. John Wood, as the protagonist Henry Carr who knew Joyce and Lenin, is simply magnifificent; Stoppard wrote the play with him in mind. The other actors are at least competent, but dim in the light Wood casts. Although the serious theater-goer may say this isn't drama--too flashy, its characters lacking in depth--it is a fascinating and entertaining evening. All to make the point that art, after all, is for art's sake, and revolution, well, it's for people who can't be artists. See it.
The Next Move is the latest in improvisational theater in Boston. If the tune sounds familiar, it may be that you've seen The Proposition, from which many of the ideas for skits are stolen. These eight members who make up the Next Move troupe are former Proposition people, who left the company over an employment dispute in 1974. Two-hours of hilarious satire, by a clever and versatile bunch. Non-stop ad libbing by a personable crew of singers, pantomimes, dancers, and above all, humorists. At the Next Move Theatre Company, Inc. For ticket info call 536-6769.