The Devil is running for President and having a nervous breakdown because he is no longer a household name, just a household appliance. This is the hilarious central conceit of Richard Hinojosa's © Evil, a "mocking comedy in one act." An hour-long riff on the nature of evil, knowledge, and humanity, Hinojosa's script has moments of brilliantly funny potential, but the sledgehammer approach to satire he employs in both his writing and direction is just too esoterically hip and conceptual for its own good. The evening started out at a breathless pace and had nowhere to go from there, and despite the terrific performances from the three-member cast (including Hinojosa) the lack of subtlety or focus took away from the obviously intelligent forces at work here. The effect was finally more smart-ass than smart.
Clint McCown had a field day as the Devil, his performance a coke-snorting, pill-popping, bourbon-swilling, Pepto Bismol-guzzling tour de force of unceasing energy. Teresa Ryno and Hinojosa, playing all the women and all the men, respectively, ably supported him, particularly Ryno as a rather ditzy Eve and Hinojosa as a smarmy TV exec pitching a reality show where the contestants were voted off to Hell.
No one took credit for the set, costumes, and lights, which were clever in their color-coordinated red and blackness, and the production as a whole fit in well with the St. Mark's Theater's atmosphere of smoky, wine-soaked grunge.
Hinojosa, Ryno and McCown are all members of Kairos! Co., a company that recently jumped from the conservative environs of Austin, Texas to the trendier, more challenging environs of NYC. The youthful, no-holds barred style on display in © Evil showed that they are up to the challenge that a move to New York automatically brings. when they polish their craft with a slightly more adult sophistication, they should be a force to reckon with, as well.
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Copyright 2001 Doug DeVita