Loot: in brief
Red Bull Theater strays from its usual classical-theater path to revive Joe Orton's taboo-busting 1965 dark comedy, in which a bank robber hides stolen cash in his recently deceased mother's coffin. Jesse Berger directs a cast that includes Nick Westrate and Rocco Sisto.
Loot: theater review by Adam Feldman
There are times when a revival can seem like actors propping up a mummified corpse onstage. But this is true only in the literal sense in Red Bull Theater’s merrily black-hearted production of Loot, Joe Orton’s vicious 1965 farce. Bisexual delinquent Hal (Nick Westrate) and his mate Dennis (Ryan Garbayo) have robbed a bank, and opt to hide the cash in the coffin of Hal’s newly dead mother. Naturally, they try to conceal this fact from Hal’s hapless father (Jarlath Conroy) and his late mum’s scheming hussy of a nurse (a deliciously brazen Rebecca Brooksher)—not to mention the Scotland Yard dick on their trail, Truscott (Rocco Sisto, hilariously confident), who is sniffing around the house in disguise.
Orton’s comedy wigs its cheery turpitude with neatly combed epigrams, hairpin-turn plotting and a brush of social commentary about police corruption. (It is a happy accident of resonance that the torture-prone Truscott poses as a member of the local water board.) Director Jesse Berger and his delightful cast keep the dialogue saucy and the comedy swift. It’s a pleasure to watch them do the nasty.—Theater review by Adam Feldman
THE BOTTOM LINE Orton’s subversive farce is still dead funny.
Follow Adam Feldman on Twitter: @FeldmanAdam
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