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.
de la creme of comedy"
very funny night"
worthy of Monty Python"