Written and Directed by Seth Bockley and Devon de Mayo
Produced by Dog & Pony Theatre Company
As part of Steppenwolf’s Garage Rep Visiting Company Initiative
Sprawling innovative and confusing fable has its moments
Sometimes a theatre group outsmarts itself. That is the case with Dog & Pony Theatre Company’s new, highly inventive theatrical event-The Twins Would Like To Say. Too many gimmicks starting with the use of a promenade ( having the audience walk around the playing area and standing throughout the performance) and having spoken scenes competing for attention marred the production. Those of us with bad backs were punished by being made to stand for most of the 70 minute show. Promenade staging is a bad idea that assures many of pain and poor site lines. We go to theatre for enjoyment and enrichment–not for an endurance battle!
Seth Bockley and Devon de Mayo’s absurdest fable (actually based on a true story) sure has potential but is flawed by the clumsy staging. This cute show needs focus and further development. It plays like a director’s exercise.
Jennifer (Ashleigh LaThrop) and Gloria Gibbons (Paige Collins) are twin teenage sisters who have decided to not speak in public-ever to adults and to always be together and do ever action alike and simultaneously. The two defy their parents, their teachers and everyone by not speaking. This premise sure has potential but the story unravels when their parents give the girls two typewriters (remember them?)–its 1979-thus allowing them to hold-up in their bedroom for days writing short stories that constantly get rejected by publishers.
Of course, we see these stories (and eventually their novel) played out on stage as we wonder about the Steppenwolf Garage Theatre. It take the father almost half the show to realize that he must separate the twins in order to deal with their social disorder. Da!
We are guided around the stage by Mr. Nobody (Nick Leininger) who directs us and sets-up many of the scenes. With several clever scenes, a disco dance and some surreal movements-this production self destructs trying to do too much theatricality. Better to settle with a few clever bits and emphasize the story with a sharper focus with less clutter. Amongst all the chaos there is a fable waiting to be clarified. I’d cut much of the unnecessary business and put the seats back so we can sit. Give us more of your sweet fable. As it plays now, it is only for theatre students and those with strong backs.
Garage Rep plays Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m.; Sundays at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.; with a 3-show marathon at 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. on the following Sundays: April 11, 18 and 25. Call for what play is on for as given date
Tickets for Garage Rep cost $20 per play. Student tickets are available for $12 and every Wednesday performance is “pay what you can.” A three-play pass is available for $45. Group discounts are available by calling (312) 932-2422