Last summer, a delightful group of clowns performed a sketch-comedy revue called Six Characters in Search of a Working Title, an evening that quickly became a deserved cult hit. This summer’s installment, called The Six Characters Cometh, had a recent run at the Connelly Theatre in the East Village, and showed the performers in fine fettle, a tad more sophisticated and just as outrageously charming as last year.
The Six Characters performed their hilarious vignettes with split-second timing, joyful abandon, and abundant skill, taking on such topics as life, love, and God, and using a mixture of live action and video (design by John DesRoches). They deconstructed everything with a fiendish but logical glee that left one gasping for breath from both laughter and shock — the shock of recognition, the shock of their audacity, the shock of sheer theatrical bliss. One irreverent skit, retelling the Old Testament, was a particular highlight, as was anything that featured the inspired antics of James Ford and Kim Bernazky, two engaging performers who take their comedy very seriously. Ford, loose-limbed, rubber-faced and endlessly energetic, and Bernazky, elegantly cool and totally uninhibited, are the heirs apparent to the venerable clowns of yore. And hot on their heels are the rest of the gang, the matchless Alexandra Gray, Katherine Houston, Alan Ostroff, Seth Trucks, and Sarah Wilson Brown. (OK, that’s a total of seven characters — but who cares? The more the merrier.)
Suchan Vodoor guided with an inspired hand, and was notably more successful in keeping the evening moving at a swifter pace than he did last year. Julie Winger provided terrific, colorful costumes, Inbal Gildin provided a seemingly endless array of terrific, colorful props, and Harry C. Rosenblum lit the whole affair with terrific, colorful expertise. And in the jewellike environs of the Connelly Theatre, a traditional proscenium theatre, the troupe had the perfect setting to display their marvelous mixture of sublime silliness and sophisticated humor. Come back soon, guys. You are always welcome.
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Copyright 2001 Doug DeVita