POOP—A TRUE STORY
nytheatre.com review by Brian Rogers
Poop is cursed with one of those
unfortunate Fringe titles which parades its own frivolity. However—as
was the case with Antonio Sacre's salaciously misleading My Penis
a few years ago—Poop turns out to have a few surprises hidden up
its malodorous sleeve.
August 15, 2003
Purportedly the true story of an actress (played here by playwright Micheline Auger) and the misguided downtown performance artist who hires her to appear in a Manhattan gallery accompanied by her own "beautiful evacuation" (hence the title), Poop's early minutes pepper the requisite gutter humor with genuine moments of inspiration. Auger has something to say about art, and her observations—brought wittily to life by an enthusiastic cast of five—provide the makings of something far more substantial than her play’s title would suggest.
Having raised our expectations, however, Auger and director David Storck proceed to bury their more satirical leanings beneath an avalanche of broad comedy and puerile jokiness of the sort better suited to a ten-minute sketch at the Upright Citizens Brigade. Auger conjures up a seemingly endless parade of colorful personalities, but her palette is too colorful and her brush stroke is too large. Poop is not a spot-on satire of the New York gallery scene, and it does not try to be. Auger's artists, patrons, and gallery owners are affable cartoons.
Poop's length—90 minutes—well exceeds its wellspring of ideas. There is literally a point at which the "beautiful evacuation" of the title is given lines to speak. The resulting dialogue—vacuous and overlong—does considerable damage to Auger's worthy political observations.
The cast—Auger, Myles Evans, Kai Schmoll, Lauren Seikaly, and Robert Valin—display considerable talent, and execute the numerous costume (and character) changes with an energy and zeal that (nearly) overcome the defects of the material.
The capacity audience at the Kraine was more than happy to join in the spirit of good fun. It's merely a shame that its creators couldn't draw more leverage out of their shameless (and Fringeworthy) grab for attention.