Storm Still Offers Little Thunder
In an abandoned classroom, three gawky nerds mull over the meanings of King Lear. They sift through Shakespeare lore, intermittently returning to their favorite scene from his tragic masterpiece, in which the monarchfleeing the plays infamous stormimagines placing his cruel daughters on trial, decrying the universes paucity of justice. Later, the trio performs a metatheatrical version where first Lears sanity is on trial, then Shakespeare himself.
If this sounds like the recipe for a quirky, evocative riff on a towering classic, thats because it could have been. The real tragedy of Storm Still is that its creatorsRick Burkhardt, Andy Gricevich, and Ryan Higginsput rich material to such theatrically impoverished use. Sloshing around in Shakespeares poetry, the writer-performers spew their copious research everywhere. The endless pontificating crowds out spectators own insights by over-explaining every idea into aggravating oblivion.
Other scenarios include a doctors office, where performers belabor the medical and metaphorical meanings of catharsis; a pedantic interview with an antique hardcover copy of Lear; and a surprising number of repulsive jokes about bodily excretions. At one point, the doctor helps the actor playing Lear vomit up cascades of animal crackers. We got it out! Feel better? exclaims the physician. But those of us watching feel so much worse.
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