note: entire contents copyright 2002 by Larry Stark
by The Company
Directed by Dan Milstein
Music by Fred Harrington
Costume Design by Bonnie Duncan
Lighting Design by Stage Manager Kathy Maloney
Brett Bundock, Vinny D'Amato, Sean Killbridge, Kathy Maloney
A Master Spy
Natasha, A Scientist
The Evil Mastermind/A Paparazzo/A Scientist
Madam President's Right Hand Man/A Burglar
Madam President/A Curtain/An Airline Check-In Girl/The Doorman at The Evil Ball/A Train Conductor/A Guard in The Hymalayas
Frenchy (A French Spy)/A Burglar/Another Spy in The Spy Office/A Paparazzo/A Sweater Clerk/A Guy at The Airport/A Guard in The Hymalayas
If you've never seen a Rougth & Tumble Theatre production, "Cloak & Dagger" will be a fascinating surprise --- how comprehensible can theater get when not a sentence, not a single word is comprehensible? The company works up their charming stories as a group effort (with Director Dan Milstein's critical eye shaping and suggesting), and they use mime and posture, minimal props that whisk in and out on tiny wheels, and sometimes merely attitude to make the "Blah-blaBlah" [dialogue] perfectly clear. Here regular Irene Daly plays both the nation's first female President and ... a curtain. (Honest!) Tori Low is the co-inventor of a mysterious little machine that can memorize the President's identity and turn An Evil Mastermind (Kimberly Conzo) into her identical like-a-look. The locale shifts (by way of a map) from America to Paris to ... Tibet??? Brian Platt is the famous-but-disgraced sleuth following a duble-agent (Sean Barney) and duking it out with him by turning the handle of his broom into a quarter-staff! Irene Daly and George Saulnier III play nearly "everyone else" (14 cameo roles between them!) and I won't tell you who gets the girl in the end!
Of course, if you have seen the company's work before, you'll know that I've left out whole Pages of rich, creamy goodness!
Rough & Tumble Theatre is a unique company --- six backstage people, six regular actors --- that take its light whimsey seriously, down to the shift of eyeballs that speaks pages of subtext, and the silent-movie piano improvisations of Fred Harrington. But it's unique in other ways as well. They still try to keep ticket prices down under Ten Bucks! They have a whole different company (The Mill 6 Collaborative) using their space at the BCA for a whole second show ("Three Pieces of Ass") at 10:30 p m; They are members of NAPA (New Alliance of Producing Artists), sharing p/r mailings and subscriptions (and sharing Sean Barney with another company!); And they've given an entire page of their programs to recommending Six Other Shows by other companies!
Obviously, I like their work, their minimalistic approach, the intricately delicate cats-cradles they make out of their shoestring --- and their loving commitment to theater. If you've never seen a Rough & Tumble Theatre production ... now's the time to start!