A TOUCH OF RIGOR MORTIS
nytheatre.com review by Josephine Cashman
A Touch of Rigor Mortis is
a play about three men who are employed by a millionaire to take turns
watching the dead body of his young wife. The wife is played by Maggie
Bofill, who lies virtually immobile onstage throughout the entire play
(no mean feat, especially as this reviewer can hardly stay still for
five minutes). Written and directed by Kevin Del Aguila, the play runs
almost two hours with no intermission. The first third of the play seems
to have no discernable point, and is therefore somewhat confusing. The
three men have monologues about their lives and the relationships (or
non-relationships) to one another as they take shifts keeping an eye on
the embalmed body.
August 15, 2002
The three men could not be more different from one another, and they often clash. Jack is a loudmouth bully who loves french fries and appears to hate everyone, abrasively played by Joe Mortimer. Harold is the sensitive artist who mulls over the ideas of death, immortality and suicide. Josh Weinstein does a fine job portraying Harold, but he is sometimes inaudible as he runs about the stage and talks of his dreams of Marilyn Monroe and Che Guevara. Michael Silva gives an excellent performance as the mentally slow Charles, who falls in love with the body, which he decides to name "Mary." His doomed romance with the dead Mary is sad, funny, and heartbreaking to watch.
The play springs to life with the sudden appearance of Mary’s husband, who brings news that shakes things up considerably. Unfortunately, interesting as it is, it’s too little, too late: though the language is at times lyrical and quite moving, this is an essentially weak script that some fine and earnest performances are hard pressed to overcome.