note: entire contents copyright 2002 by Beverly Creasey
Reviewed by Beverly Creasey
We,as a nation, seem to take more delight in making fun of our movies than we do watching them in earnest. Christopher Durang lumped together "Gone with The Wind" "Now Voyager" and a host more to pen the sensational "History of The American Film" (Hey, why doesn't anyone do that play???)
Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca used to send up the big movies on "Your Show of Shows". Who could foeget their waterlogged love-scene in "Form Here to Eternity"! So it was with much mischief and malice aforethought that Larry Coen and David Crane decided to take on C.B. DeMille.
Their sendup of Biblical mayhem is called "Epic Proportions". I saw a very funny reading of the script about twenty yeqrs ago, and The Lyric Stage's version has a cast to die for: Neil Casey who can the conjugation "But" into gold; Laura Napoli whose controlled hysteria cannot be bested anywhere; Richard Snee who can make caviar out of oliveloaf; Maureen Keiler whose withering stare can move pyramids; Nathaniel McIntyre whose pratfalls I could watch all night long; and two of the silliest straight-men in the business --- Christopher Cook and Terrence O'Malley.
Director Davis Robinson mines some mighty fine laughs, but Coen and Crane's script just doesn't move fast enough to stretch a Henny Youngman one-liner into a two-hour-er. We should be doubled over with laughter.
Kudos to Clifford Allen's scary fight choreography and to Rafael Jaen for the marvelously tacky Roman/Egyptian doublets.