Trousers Needs a Comedy Tailor
How can a play about pants fail to be funny? The word pants is funny. Big pants are funny, tiny pants are funnyand no pants at all is a riot. So Trousers, a new drama on this very subject by Dan Monaco, produced by the Straddler companyshould be hilarious. Unfortunately, the piece comes up short(s).
In Trousers, two men (Marty Brown and Todd Pate) confront deep-seated sartorial woes: Their pants do not fit. One sports immensely long slacks, which flop out past his feet and stretch along the floor. The other hardly has trousers at allhe wears boxers, later producing a denim garter, which he dubs my pants and bashfully buttons around his thigh. They yearn for self-acceptance and rehearse a possible foray into bespoke tailoring. The apparel angst eventually turns violentand, yes, someone gets pantsed.
I kept waiting to laugh. Maybe, I reasoned, this could be a parable about prejudice or inequality. The Straddler runs a literary magazine, and intellectual aspirations are apparent here. Monacos dialogue is clearly patterned on Beckett. (Endgame, which contains theaters finest use of pants as existential allegory, is quoted in the program alongside Foucault and Levi-Strauss.) Sadly, the play is neither profound nor amusing: Trousers pretensions are too big for its threadbare britches.
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