Parlour Problems

August 18 - 28, 1994

At the Ontological Theater at St. Mark's Church
New York, NY
 
A Hangdog Theater production
Written, directed, choreographed and scored by Robert Cucuzza
With
Jennifer Woodward as Pumpkin
Mike Rubens as Smedley
David Yezzi as Gottfried
James Urbaniak as Rose
Sally Eberhardt as The Lady in the Red-Checked Dress
Set Designer: Robert Cucuzza
Lighting Designer: Jason McKay
Stage Manager: Alicia Cheng
Fight Choreographers: Walter Elder and Erik Jensen 
 
A timid and unwitting houseguest named Smedley is lured into the surreally genteel world of his vaguely foreboding host and hostess, Pumpkin and Gottfried. A wordless, frenzied game of Yahtzee ensues (where only elitist rules apply), and Smedley blunders blindly through a barrage of violent inconsistency. He is first welcomed, then subsequently tortured, applauded, shunned, loved, baffled, seduced and ultimately forced to cause the total destruction of the parallel universe in which he allowed himself to desperately attempt to belong. Searching for allies in a disconcerting butler named Rose and a silent, slightly menacing houseguest in a red-checked dress proves fruitless. Maniacally choreographed to music ranging from Japanese pop to sliced-and-diced Stravinsky to a jacked-up version of The Music Man’s "Shipoopi", Parlour Problems compacts seventy-three door slams, four swordfights, twenty-seven punches to the face, fourteen 30-second stares and one pie-in-the-face gag into Smedley's hour-long nightmare journey into the world of not belonging.
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