Man, Faction of Fools really loves its cheese.
Dairy productions from pecorino to gouda all get gleefully name-checked during the troupe’s infectious Fool-for-All, Tales of Marriage and Mozzarella.
Faction of Fools, known for its devotion to Commedia dell’Arte, the type of theater known for its broad humor and masks, has put together a show in the same style as its previous Fringe offerings. Audience members will see a selection of four of seven different quick scenes (which means attendees on different nights could be in for a very different show).
Most of these scenes have something to do with wedding-related foibles. One vignette takes a look at a zesty virgin’s (the adorable Jan Johns) first trip to the bedroom; another pays a tribute to the kind of insane excess that can turn what was meant to be a simple ceremony to an over-the-top affair.
Faction of Fools has assembled a cast of 40 to take on the variety of roles that the scenes require, and this mishmash of company members, Gallaudet University students – Faction of Fools is in residence there – and local performers all prove to be adept at the physical comedy, precise line delivery and even the acrobatics that the scenes require.
Some segments are more engaging than others. Though “Graters of the Lost Cheese”, directed by Tyler Herman, is impressive for the way the show’s ensemble manages to contort themselves into everything from the shape of a pirate ship to an attacking spider, the scene doesn’t really go anywhere and drags as its adventurers go on their quest for a magical hunk of mozzarella.
By contrast, in, “Hopefully Ever After”, director Paul Reisman brings more of a winking, insider feel to the proceedings. As the fathers of the groom, Reisman and Matthew Pauli manage to sell even the most groan-worthy jokes with good timing and audience rapport.
This year’s Fool for All has 5 performances, ending July 28, 2012, at Studio Threatre – Milton Theatre, 1501 14th St NW Washington, DC.
Details and tickets