note: entire contents copyright 2000 by Beverly Creasey
The Theatre Coop's next production will be "Waiting for Godot" but in the meantime they've sent up "Godot" with John Patrick Shanley's "The Wild Goose". Shanley outBecketts the master with alienated characters wielding fish which function for all practical (and absurdist) purposes as pliers. Shanley's characters fear the have been abandoned "by the gods" so they shoot each other at the drop of a hat (that is, when they're not extracting bones with fish)...then they "jump up from being dead" and start all over again. Characters peculiarly proclaim that being in the theater is "like being at the bottom of a deep, dark well" and although it's difficult to explain, Shanley captures the whimsy which ought to be--but isn't--the hallmark of "Godot".
Paula Ramsdell's hilarious production is buoyed by George Saulier III's chipper gravitas and Marty Simmons' wonderfully gruesome deadpan...aided and abetted by Christina Savage's insouciant bride of Frankenstein. All three are a delight. Together with Dave Dowling's haunting sound and Kathy Maloney's brooding light on the trio's divinely ghoulish make-up, Halloween came early and the treat was the theatrical trick.
Theatre Coop is doing something else of note: They're combining performance and music with cameos by local bands. Last season local stars like the rock band "Fuzzy" became part of the show when they played before, during and after a performance of "Marvin's Room". This particular evening Brian Ullman and Nathan Holt (with Bill Small) took the stage after the performance of "The Wild Goose". Ullman and Holt performed "Waiting for Just A Touch" and "Love to Be Down" with some pleasing three-part harmonies. Although some of the bands have been electric, Ullman and Holt write for acoustic....strange, eerie songs like "Indian Girl from Another Century" which mimics a sitar...and reminds me of Ritchie Havens' elegiac songs.