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Monday, September 1, 2008

Joe: The Perfect Man

Posted on Mon, Sep 1, 2008 at 12:52 PM

For Joe Mal (performed by gifted clown Rachelle Elie) an open casting call for roles in a production of Shakespeare's psychodrama-tragedy Macbeth is a chance of his lifetime. Now smudging 60, Joe has been a longtime student of the play he says. And as such, (deep cautionary intake of breath here), he has some ideas of how Macbeth could be improved. We all well know Macbeth concludes with the stage littered with corpses. Shakespeare's love of gore and slaughter in his tragedies disturbs Joe - already a deeply disturbed man in his own right. As portrayed, Joe is but one step removed from those sad lost street souls with aluminum foil wrapped about their heads to stifle in-coming directives from the Great and Terrible Zog on Planet Zircon. "Nobody wants to leave on a downer," Joe says to a cranky, tired, eager-to-go-home casting director. "That's why I change the end of the play. Bring heart back into the story. I do not think musical theatre when I think of Macbeth. I think a ballet rock opera starring Joe Mal" Who is this guy decked out in a dueling plaid combo of slacks and sports jacket whose lapels sag from a chicken pox array of quip buttons, country music rhinestone-barnacled tie, a shrubbery of gray hair atop a Reese Witherspoon face, aviator glasses? And, balloon animal physique? Why Joe, the perfect man to play each and every role in Macbeth. And, he means to prove it. With second banana assistance from cannily chosen volunteers drawn from the assembled throng, Joe dementedly convulsed audience members last night with perhaps the most out-of-left-field notions, quips and loose-limbed antics likely to be heard and seen at this year's Fringe Festival. A delightful completely spontaneous moment to relate that occurred close to the end of the madcap mayhem One second banana, curled up on stage in a fetal position, wearing a pair of sequin encrusted rabbit ears on his noggin (the riotous finale involves sleeping bunnies - ooh yessss) fished a cell phone from his pants pocket and lobbed it to an audience member seated in the front row. "Please," he giggled, "somebody take my picture. I may never do something like this again in my life." The audience dissolved. Joe: The Perfect Man is a show of terrific whack-a-mole buffoonery; " a tale told by an idiot" signifying explosive laughter.

Showtimes Studio Theatre in Neptune : Mon Sept 1 6:45; Fri Sept 5 10:00; Sat Sept 6 3:45; Sun Sept 7 5:30 60 minutes $10.00

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