Faux-Real Theater's FunBox2000 is built on the premise that the late-night crowd wants to get involved. But while billed as an interactive journey through the senses, this intentionally fragmentary production fails to follow through on its invitation director Mark Greenfield has confused theater-in-the-round with the truly participatory. From above, nearby, and below, actors declaim original and classical passages excerpts from Macbeth and The Tell-Tale Heart while holding strange postures, playing with flashing yo-yos, or passing around a bowl of Jell-O. On the few occasions when the show strays outside this dynamic and actually invites the audience to participate, the results have a goofy charm: a taste of cotton candy pulled from an alien's head, a slow dance with the actors that recalls a junior high prom. Most of the time, however, the show is no more than allusive recitations that describe sensory experience rather than provide it. The performers don't bend for the unexpected and they retreat from the possibly uncomfortable; the audience remains mired in bemused voyeurism. What Faux-Real Theater is actually offering is a liquorless theme party with a dozen hired clowns. The audacious opening during which the cast carries on like futuristic, automaton barkers is as wild as the evening gets. Once inside the tiny theater, one is left with the novelty of watching a tireless group of young people simply acting strange. A contemporary Happening that shies away from the anarchist spirit of its predecessors, FunBox2000 wishes it were a wild and exotic bird, but settles for being a curiously tamed lark that can't take flight.
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