Monday, September 13, 2010


Publick Theatre's production of Tom Stoppard's THE REAL INSPECTOR HOUND is a real dog. Bow wow. And it's not just because I've recently been in court on account of my unfortunate encounter with a creature of the canine persuasion. (See THE CASE OF THE WAYWARD WEIMARANER blog post). No no no. If the playwright saw this flaccid attempt at his crackling whodunnit, Stoppard would put a stop to it. Perhaps that's too easy. Perhaps he wouldn't recognize it at all.

Let's begin with Moon and Birdboot, critics watching the show within the show. Barlow Adamson and William Gardiner deliver their lines like they were delivering dead orchids to a funeral. The pacing is off. The diction sloppy. There's no energy. The show which usually breezes in at just under an hour, has now been stretched into two lumpy acts, the momentum lost, the whip cracking wordplay now simply, whipped. Two performers standout: Gabriel Kuttner as Magnus, a deadpan wit on wheels. And Sheridan Thomas as the haunted housekeeper Mrs. Drudge; she moves like lead, and acts with lugubrious abandon. Georgia Lyman looks great but that's it. Anna Waldron as Felicity is practically non-existent. The timing is off. The thing had absolutely no impact. I was nearly asleep. How I longed for the cast that played it the first time I saw it at THE NEXT MOVE THEATRE, 30 years ago. Yes, it's that vivid in my mind.

The real show started afterwards, and I know I'll be thinking about it 30 years hence. YOU MUST GO TO COPPA on Shawmut Ave. in the South end, Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonette's latest culinary adventure. It's a romantic, rustic, dark, little corner Italian bistro. Try everything. We had pizza with zucchini flowers, and small white bowls of gnocchi with lamb and mint and white bean ragout. Then luscious orechiette pasta with broccoli rabe and fresh tomato, not to be outdone by fusilli mare, twisted curls of pasta with seafood; and a small slice of rabbit pate, and a succulent little beef heart crostini. We finished with a dollop of fresh fig sorbetto, glasses of sparkling Lambrusco, and two divine espressos. We were lucky to have Mark Voss as our server who is gorgeous and charming. We wafted out into the night, fully satisfied.
Theater? What theater?

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