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Review: David Mamet's REVENGE OF THE SPACE PANDAS OR BINKY RUDICH AND THE TWO SPEED CLOCK at Off-Central Players

ON-STAGE THROUGH MAY 21,2023

By: May. 15, 2023
Review: David Mamet's REVENGE OF THE SPACE PANDAS OR BINKY RUDICH AND THE TWO SPEED CLOCK at Off-Central Players  Image
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Mamet's full-length comedy penned to appeal to young audiences premiered in 1978 at the Town Hall Performing Arts Center in Flushing, Queens a borough of New York City.

The plot is messy, convoluted, and at some times almost mind-warping. The story follows the adventures of Binky Rudich, his friend Vivian Mooster and an almost human-like sheep Bob as they struggle to get the two-speed clock to work. Soon, Binky's mother known as Mrs. Rudich calls for Binky to come down for lunch, Binky decides to hit the clock with a hammer one last time hoping to make it work. Suddenly the kids have blasted nearly 50 lightyears away from anything they've known to the planet of Crestview.

The trio soon encounters Space Pandas inhabiting Crestview, and the kids are treated to Lunafish Casserole and a promise to return home. However, the Supreme Ruler of Crestview vows to keep Bob the Sheep so that he will have the only wool sweater on the planet. He steals the two-speed clock taking the kids and Bob the Sheep on an adventure they will never forget.

Sounds simple right?

The thing with Mamet is you either love or hate his work. There is no two-edge sword for you to fall on, its simply black and white.

Now let's not forget the incredible power of his plays such as Race, or American Buffalo.

Now, this is where things get tricky.

You see the fault here doesn't lie with the performers or producing company, but rather the work itself.

Imagine if you will, the 1960s. Mamet's young audience train-wreck is much like that of a terrible episode of H.R. Pufnstuf.

As a matter of fact that is all that one can regale this script to be, an afternoon kids special gone horribly wrong.

Once again no fault to the producing company or its performers, because one should always give credit where credit is due. It's an unfortunate circumstance when a group is just dealt a bad hand, so to speak. Sometimes a script is just a dumpster fire, and you must do your best to produce something when you just weren't given a lot to work with.

This is where I must applaud director Katie Calahan and her talented cast for a job well done, given the circumstances. Broderick Gorman, Savannah Ford-Myers, Eric Walby, Alec Muscat, Ian Miller, David Warner, Dylan Barlowe, Stan Gurvitz, and Andy Terrazas, all deserve a mention for the work they put forth.

Lighting/Scenic Design by Michael Horn, fit the world of the show for the confines of the space in which it was presented. Costume Design by Lindsay Ellis helped distinguish the different characters. With music direction by Rick Coates, we are propelled into the world of the show, and its addition was a nice touch. The construction of the two-speed clock by Frank Strunk deserves special recognition.

Sometimes, bad plays happen to good performers, and in this case Mamet's Revenge... should've done one thing since its inception, and that is never to have found its way out of 1978. Will people come out to see this production, yes, because it is written to appeal to young audiences, and families of the young performers will absolutely support.

Mamet is not for everyone, and this trip to "Space," due to the script itself makes this time warp a bumpy and uncomfortable ride. Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.studiograndcentral.com.

Photo Credit: OFF-CENTRAL PLAYERS




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