Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Atheist, Hyde Park Theatre, February 18 - March 13

Sleazy, pushy Augustine Early is the just the sort of brilliant sociopath that fascinates Ken Webster, judging from the programming at the Hyde Park Theatre.

The Atheist is billed as a "dark comedy," but it is no barrel of laughs. In fact, there are virtually no laughs at all in Joey Hood's intense, two-act 90-minute performance. If it's a comedy at all, it's a sardonic comedy, in the etymological sense: from 1630–40 <>sardoni(us) (<>sardónios of Sardinia) + -an; "the primary reference was to the eating of a Sardinian plant. . .which was said to produce facial convulsions resembling horrible laughter, usually followed by death." [OED]

Whatever the definition, it takes nothing away from Joey Hood. His intensity, rhythm, and bitter, corruscating delivery of this grotesque and bleak shaggy dog story fully deserve those standing ovations that he is getting every night at the theatre. The intelligence and daring of his interpretation almost justify the adulatory tone of Robert Faires' 2400-word profile in the Austin Chronicle last week.

Read more and view image at . . . .

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