|Everett Quinton, Jason Cruz|
In the best tradition of Ridiculous Theatrical, Drop Dead Perfect is where absurdist farce careens sharply into the utterly surreal within a deftly plotted, coherent story line all beautifully brought to life by four men portraying three men and two women.
This 90-minute production played to a packed crowd at the intimate venue; they were highly appreciative of the comedy's conceits, knowingly in on the jokes and pop-cultural references, and increasingly amused and titillated to almost growing, orgasmic laughter by climax.
Set in Key West in 1952 (the year of my birth as I'm sure you all know by now, gentle readers), Drop Dead Perfect involves a repressed spinster; her young, resentful adopted daughter; a Cuban gigolo and a sleazy lawyer (is there any other kind?) in a steamy stew of representational acting run amok, broad physical comedy, mugging, Douglas Sirk movie melodramas, Lucy and Ricky, Mommie Dearest, Jayne Eyre and more.
|Photo by Buddy Beaverhausen|
Set design and lighting are most effective for a show on a small budget (James J. Fenton, Ed McCarthy, respectively). Sound designer William Neal adds to the outrageous humor with some of his archival sources. Costumes by Charotte Palmer Lane are memorable and somewhere between Fifties-retro camp and visual comic jokes in and of themselves, while Lorna Ventura's choreography is strikingly hyperbolic and delightfully performed by its cast to great effect.
Buddy Beaverhausen had a rough day today, people. I arrived at the church in the chapel for this irreverent romp feeling fried, steamy, sticky, tired, uncomfortable, unhappy and just in no mood. But, lo and behold, a miracle at St Clement's, which was Drop Dead Perfect. I went back out into the street restored, renewed, rejuvenated. Never underestimate the power of art, the sensibility of the Ridiculous Theatrical Company, live theater brilliantly conveyed by all involved, nor camp nor well done comedy. It was all just so drop dead perfect. So, I say: This summer in New York, please do youself a favor and don't miss this limited engagement. Limited dates, unlimited talent and pleasure.