Eating Crow

By Jack Groverland
Tree House Theatre Co.
Equity showcase (closed)
Review by John Attanas

Set in a dressing room at the St. James Theatre, Eating Crow is the story of Sir Richard Britain, an over-the-hill Shakespearean actor who has come to New York to play Hamlet, but with opening night looming has yet to attend a rehearsal. This is because his Hamlet was to be an all-nude musical; but Britain could not tap dance. Enter Arthur, Britain's young, idiotic valet who Britain forces to travel in a steamer trunk in order to save money. Britain then spends most of his time tormenting Arthur, a supposed orphan (although Britain knows better), by trying to get him to tell a lie. Arthur, honest to a fault, will not speak an untruth. Britain then demands that Arthur either tell a lie, or, if he cannot, as a punishment eat his beloved pet crow.

The writing here by Jack Groverland is, to be charitable, not very good. While there are strands of numerous plots, there isn't one overarching plot, and the play suffers as a result. While the characters are fairly well-drawn, the character of Britain is so evil that it is impossible to identify or sympathize with him. This is also true with the remaining characters, who are all idiots.

The production of Eating Crow was generally decent. The best aspect of it was the direction by Del Matthew Bigtree and author Groverland. The actors made a game effort with fairly hopeless material. Del Matthew Bigtree did his best as the idiotic Arthur. Steve Todar was very forceful as Britain. However, although he was playing an English actor, he spoke with an upper-class American accent. This was representative of the entire evening. (Also featuring Ian Gibbs, Vinessa Milando, Rebecca Wolfe, and Jessica Dublin. Costumes, Norma Groverland.)

Box Score:
Writing 0
Directing 1
Acting 1
Set 1
Costumes 1
Lighting/Sound 1
Copyright 1997 John Attanas

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