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"Safe Words-Loud Silences: The Shorts Project" 

A mixed bag of eccentric delights and duds for those with ADHD

Wednesday, Dec 14 2005
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La Vache Enragee Productions has made it its mission "to reduce elitism in art," and with an eye to that goal had a great idea: produce a night of short plays, intersperse some silent films starring the same actors, and then score the whole evening with an original soundtrack performed live onstage. The result is a mixed bag of eccentric delights and duds. There's a reason Tennessee Williams' short The Case of the Crushed Petunias is rarely performed: It's trite, badly written, and in this case, poorly staged. The evening gathers speed with Todd Brotze's charismatic portrayal of the love-confused necrophile in Don Nigro's bewitching comedy The Sin Eater, and then really gets cooking with Steve Martin's refreshingly odd piece Zig Zag Woman, about a lonely waitress who jumps into a magician's box and literally separates herself to find true love. Some of the silent movies seem more like improv exercises caught on amateur video, but Christine McClintock's haunting score propels us through seven shorts in under two hours. It's short-attention-span theater, and easy on the pocket.

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Nathaniel Eaton

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