The Dick and the Rose

Photograph: Jeff Goodman
Cherry Lane Theatre , West Village Saturday August 25 2012 20:00
From the cockeyed brain of Outcast Café Theatrix founder Robert Biggs, this American neofolktale chronicles the tempestuous romance between a man (Ron Botting) and a woman (the winsome Caley Milliken) with music, puppets, black humor and a slithering 20-foot penis. In other words, it’s typical Fringe. A mounted sheet filled with holes serves as the clever set; characters, hand puppets (as the couple’s progeny) and the title dick emerge to cavort, croon and share hard-won wisdom about love, parenthood, life and death. Biggs is the homespun narrator, and gives each section portentous titles like “The Reckoning.” It’s all quite mesmerizing, even when you don’t know what the hell is going on—which is a lot of the time, unfortunately. But there are moments when the (surely intentional) opacity gives way and a scene punches you in the gut, such as when the woman tearfully finds a rose at the end of her lover’s schlong, or in the climactic mass puppet filicide. The moral seems to be: When in doubt, keep it in your pants. (Visit our Fringe Festival page for more reviews, and for more information.)—Raven Snook
Venue name: Cherry Lane Theatre
Address: 38 Commerce St
New York
Cross street: at Seventh Ave South
Transport: Subway: 1 to Christopher St–Sheridan Sq
Price: $15, at the door $18