Reviews

GOOD NIGHT

BACKSTAGE WEST  

"Good Night" Reviewed By Polly Warfield
 
Wittily penned and performed by David Beeler and Tom Konkle, crisply directed by Michael Neill, this night-blooming nosegay of skits and sketches pays proper homage to the kookily cerebral art of (late) Dudley Moore and Peter Cook. Beeler, who could well be cast as an eager young prelate just out of the seminary, is here cast as Moore. Konkle, with the mien of a solid citizen--businessman, police chief--could be Cook. They are well paired and well contrasted, and what we have here, as we had there, is la creme de la creme of comedy.

A couple of gents, nattily tailored (Saville Row), with matching ties (old school), having previously shared the bride on separate occasions, converse at a wedding. They can't remember who's the groom, who's the best man. The skit suggests that a bad memory is the secret to happiness. In Napoleonic headgear and eye-patch, Konkle prepares for his close-up as an actor playing Admiral Nelson in a $70 million film while bugged by Beeler as his doddering old dad, who keeps butting in with advice ("get a job doing something useful, like coal-mining"). Konkle solos as recipient of a Chinese mail-order bride who speaks no English, then dons a British bobby's helmet for a dressing-down from his Scottish supervisor (Beeler) for passing out tickets freely as confetti for minor or imaginary offenses ("wearing a loud shirt in a built-up area"). Bobby finds the super's Achilles heel to turn the tables.

In their "tribute to equilibrium" Konkle's a tad shakier than a very stable Beeler. In the evening's showstopper Beeler is an auditioning mime who can't shut up. Suiting word to action he's "walking against the wind... climbing a rope ladder... going downstairs." This mime by birth, heritage, talent, training, and inclination was traumatized as a lad, you see, by watching his mime father die of asphyxiation in an air box. He was struck speaking, so to speak. He strikes auditioner Konkle speechless. A gently irreverent "Christ & Co." has Konkle in a burnoose as Fred of Babylon, who would have been a disciple except that 13 is an unlucky number. Jotting notes with a quill pen, inquiring reporter Beeler interviews Fred for The Hark Angel.

These two are worthy successors to the comedy mantles of the greats, Moore and Cook. May we suggest an enjoyable evening of theatrical tribute: first an early visit to the playhouse for its premiere production, Because of You, then a stroll along the Third Street Promenade, finally back to the playhouse for these comic capers. You accomplish several things in one swell foop: varied theatre experience, triple tribute to three theatre icons, assist to the playhouse survival fund, and a Good Night nightcap worth staying up late for.

 

 

 

"creme de la creme of comedy"

 

"gleeful and quick-witted"

 

"a very funny night"

 

"truly worthy of Monty Python"