You've Ruined a Perfectly Good Mystery!
nytheatre.com review by Pamela Butler
August 12, 2011
The first day of FringeNYC and I am treated to this lively, funny and well turned out comedy, in which I and the rest of the audience have a chance to direct the outcome, sort of. We have all the ingredients for a mystery: The Detective, The Doctor, Iago Von Evilton, and a lady in distress, Lady Bosom Heaving. Add to this perfect constellation The Narrator, a feisty, troublemaking matron with script in hand played beautifully by Jamie England, who throws wrenches into the works. Add to this a supporting cast of excellent caliber, and it makes for a spirited entertainment.
The Detective, the creation of Christopher Younggren, consults, consorts with, and cajoles his rather shorter sidekick, The Doctor, played with great comic effect by Matthew A. Schrader, while they try to solve some not so serious missing persons cases in London. Whiffs of a past famous duo are not to be discounted. It isn’t long before the tongue in cheek is firmly established.
Every member of this ensemble is sparkling and on their toes. Matt Korda, as Iago Von Evilton, is indeed ominous and imposing, using his stature and sharp physicality to command the stage and to cause Liz Angle (Lady Bosom Heaving) to shake her ample and lovely cleavage to best effect—and she does this often.
What is impressive about this production is the attention to every detail. There is much romping and spinning, and the pace is brisk and demanding. Two of the actors here are also the choreographer and fight captain; Rick Stemm designed the moves and Matt Korda worked to see them executed. They do a great job!
Equally impressive is the costume designer, Sydney Krieger, who has pulled together some of the best costumes for just the right embellishment of the tale. I love the clever use of small elements, such as keys, monocles, buttons, bustles and bows; they are on point for wonderful effect.
The set pieces and directing are also wonderful. Sam D. White, the director, has the ensemble lithely taking turns holding doors, and moving scenery and props to create the necessary settings for the action which then comes together with rollicking motion. There are three scenic designers, Tim Irvin, Veronica Raulin and Byron Streich, and a prop designer, Kirk Stantis (BSI), who are greatly responsible for this coordinated success.
There are many, many jokes at the expense of modern culture, and even when the plot seems less important that all of its parts, the sheer joy and energy of the production carries through. I would recommend this show for a good laugh and an opportunity to see well polished theatre craft off off Broadway.