Curtains

iTheatre's T Bone N Weasel Brings Low-Class Clowns to Downtown Phoenix's Herberger Theater Center

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The execution: Most criticism of this script and its prior productions focuses on its reliance on cheap, stupid jokes (generally seen as a downside) and the black character T Bone's response to racism and efforts to get his pal Weasel to see it his way (generally regarded as an underdeveloped plus). Director Michael Traylor (Gruesome Playground Injuries, The Play About the Baby, Bug), who also plays T Bone here, has gone beyond the bounds of realism to push both elements into a weird, self-aware place that's somewhat successful as both art and entertainment.

The performance style is strongly influenced by traditional clowning, and in case that's lost on you, some of the scenes are framed by elements of circus (aerialist acts, pantomime to music, etc.) to make it clearer. Set, costume, and prop elements are also exaggerated, in vaudeville style.

I don't like traditional clowning. That doesn't mean the company doesn't do a good job with it. As far as I could tell, most of the small holiday-weekend-opening-night crowd found the show amusing and enjoyable.

Based on ad libs from the actors, a few patrons left early. One doesn't always find out why, exactly, this happens, but just for fun I'm voting for the tried-and-true "performer put his hand down his pants" explanation. Greg Lutz, as Weasel, puts his hand in there constantly, but his pants are huge and he's just trying to find stuff.

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Julie has written for the Night & Day events calendar section since 2005. As a student at Arizona State, she received the Glendon and Kathryn Swarthout Creative Writing Award and the Theatre Medallion of Merit.
Contact: Julie Peterson