by Phillip Andrew Bennett Low • August 1, 2008 • I have to confess, I went into the production kind of expecting to hate it — I have my usual dislike of canonized work in the Fringe, and much as I enjoy Monty Python, I often find their fans to be obnoxious in the extreme — there was definitely a part of me dreading the prospect of spending an hour with the guy who constantly does Monty Python impressions.
Being totally honest, I found myself enjoying myself in spite of myself — for one thing, they don’t confine themselves to strict imitation, but use the text to develop their own impressions. For another thing, it’s hard not to be won over by the incredible degree of enthusiasm on display here. The material still works, and the cast commits to it.
They’re still not really more than a nostalgia act, so you’ll pretty much know right away from reading the description whether or not you’re in the audience for this. Working in this format, the best they can ever achieve is to be an acceptable imitation of something much better — after all, I can just pull a DVD off the shelf and see the real thing for free.
By far, the most enjoyable material was the original stuff they came up with — the animations, the surreal Python-esque transitions between pieces, the breaks they took from the expected delivery. There’s talent on display here, and unfortunately that means that I can’t say that I really loved it — ultimately, I felt cheated; I want to see what this group would do with a body of original material.
Phillip Andrew Bennett Low (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a playwright and poet, storyteller and mime, theatre critic and libertarian activist, who lurks ominously in the desert wilds of St. Louis Park, feasting upon the hygienically-prepared flesh of the once-living. His main claim to fame is probably as co-founder of the Rockstar Storytellers, and as founder/producer of Maximum Verbosity, a garage-band-like theatre troupe that is in a state of constantly re-defining itself.