Thursday, October 4, 2012
Theater review: I Know You Are, But What Am I? at WaterTower Theatre
The play hilariously reflects on the idiosyncrasies of our modern world.
ADDISON Local Dallas playwright Everett Newton has followed his first play, Taxidermania, with an equally successful comedy: I Know You Are, But What Am I?. I Know is a loopy, clever, inventive, highly pleasurable piece regarding Dr. Dane Brewer, and his therapy group, consisting of: Minnie Ruth Westminster (Cindy Kahn) Carl Reynolds, and Jasmine Blaze. It begins with Dr. Brewer receiving a visit from Rex Abbott, a member of the Texas Board of Psychiatric Medicine (or some such). He’s there to evaluate Brewer (Jordan Tomenga) following an anonymous complaint, and it’s obvious he’d like nothing better than to revoke Brewer’s license. The very fact that a complaint has been lodged has put the doctor in a precarious position with the hospital board that employs him, and it’s looking pretty grim for Brewer and the patients who count on him for support and guidance.
Newton takes a lot of glee in creating characters, situations, and dialogue that manifest the ridiculous aspects of living in the world today. For instance, Jasmine (Taylor Bunn) believes she’s The Virgin Queen of the planet Zelborg 9, and wears an aluminum foil cap when she’s channeling transmissions. Brewer (by way of preparing for the worst) spends most of Act 2 practicing in clown shoes, should he need to enroll in Oslo’s Clown College. When Abbott (John C. Hogwood) does something he doesn’t like, Brewer spritzes him with a water bottle (the way you would a cat) calling it “Hydro-Aversive Therapy." Before Abbott’s visit to group, Carl (Ronnie Giddens) dons an evening gown and wig as casually as you might put on a tie.
Like Beckett’s Waiting for Godot or Mamet’s Revenge of the Space Pandas, Newton’s I Know creates a hilarious, alternate universe to reflect the idiosyncrasies of the world we normally inhabit. Like Paul Hackett (Griffin Dunne) in the '80s film classic After Hours, Brewer’s fate takes a twisted turn. One strange incident after another engulfs him until he arrives at the end of his bizarre odyssey. Newton laces the script with intriguing scientific facts, quirky observations, and plenty of amusing moments along the way. With Sibling Revelry Production’s relaxed and confident cast, I Know couldn’t be in better hands. They give this eccentric material just the understated quality it needs to pop. It closes this weekend, so don’t miss your opportunity to enjoy some grand, therapeutic laughter.
Pegasus News Content partner - Christopher Soden, Dallas GLBT Arts Examiner
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