Theatre Mirror Reviews - "T Bone N Weasel"

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note: entire contents copyright 2000 by Larry Stark

"T Bone N Weasel"

by Jon Klein
Directed by Michael Thurston

Set Design by Duncan McCulloch and Steve Rotolo
Lighting and Sound Designs by Duncan McCulloch
Costume Design by Carla Crowell
Stage Manager Rebecca Helgeson

T Bone..........................................................................Michael Nurse
Weasel......................................................................George O'Connor
Alan Wilbar:
Mr. Fergus, Happy Sam, Reverend Gluck, Lemuel Clayborne, Verna Mae Beaufort, Officer Klamp, Doc Tatum, Brother Tim, Raincoat

"T Bone N Weasel" is a picaresque collection of short scenes strung along the back roads of South Carolina. Thomas Bone and William Weasler are a pair of itinerant minor thieves, mis-matched except by their ill luck. Lots of scenes take place in cars, and a couple in jails, and one of the delights of this small stage, small-budget production is a startling set of backdrops and projected scene-titles by Duncan McCulloch lending depth and vitality to the comic flow.

T Bone (Michael Nurse) can read and write, but he's too proud to steal a Chevette ("That's a poor man's car!") or to call his rod a "gun" --- or to work long for what he can pilfer. Because he's poor he must endure direct insults right to his Black face, and there's a vindictive streak in him makes him try to get a bit of his own back, but his reach exceeds his grasp, and luck rarely breaks in his direction. Weasel (George O'Connor) is a poor white cracker willing to compromise with legal employment occasionally to buy his own car, but he's really lost without the mentoring influence of his friend.

Director Michael Thurston has kept a light, goofy touch throughout, softening the direct insults of honest but unfeeling citizens --- all nine of them played Alan Wilbar. Nearly every one has a touch of larceny about them, from Happy Sam the used-car dealer to Doc Tatum who wants pictures of his kindness to the down-and-out for his political campaign, to Verna Mae Beaufort who rings a bell to summon her three-dollars-an-hour scarecrows to extra work in her bedroom. The subtext here flatly states that the only people with any integrity are the two light-headed, light-hearted, put-upon thieves.

"We got four corners here, let's go south" say the pair --- part Stan and Ollie, part Didi and Gogo --- as the play starts, and then as it ends. They're never apart for long, never ahead of the game for long, but always eager for new surprises around the next bend in the road.


"T Bone N Weasel" (till 1 July)
Threshold Theatre, 791 Tremont Street (behind the Piano Factory, on Northampton Street, one block from Mass Ave),, BOSTON
1(617) 471-5384

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide