Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Messenger No. 4, Cambiare Productions at the Blue Theatre, February 17 - March 4

Messenger No. 4,Cambiare Productions, AUstin TX

And here's the other fraternal twin of the Paper Moon Rep/Cambiare collaboration. ALT always regrets writing 'after the fact' pieces. There's something laudable about setting things down for the historical record, but a theatre friend used regularly to disparage such essays as 'useless reviews.'

Perhaps less so in this case. These compatible personalities and theatre companies carried out a new and successful strategy of production. At a time when others are talking about cooperation -- as with the nascent Scenery Co-op that's under study and partly underwritten by the generosity of the MetLife Foundation -- they teamed up for some of their fundraising and they shared a venue, an ingenious set by Ia Enstera, and a performance calendar. Paper Moon took the first shift; Cambiare hit the boards afterward, about 9 p.m.

Not everyone was able to attend the double-header. Will Hollis Snider's jaunty Messenger No. 4 ran until almost 11 p.m. Although there was a pause of 15 minutes or so for resetting the scene, each piece played without interruption. I, for one, was a bit punch drunk by the end of Messenger -- so much so that I managed to lose the program sheets for both of the performances.

Rachel's Phineas was a carnival of caring while Will's script for Messenger No. 4 was a scrappy, all-boy imaginng. He pulled apart dramatic conventions with happy audacity, rewriting Greek tragedies with a 21st-century corporate spin. This Monty Pythonesque deconstruction of dramatic art had a good dose of Robert Zemeckis' Back to the Future -- and in fact of much of the extensive sci-fi literature about the risks of time travel.

Click to read more at AustinLiveTheatre.com . . . .

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