The Oregonian

The Oregonian - Friday, July 25, 2003


Richard Wattenberg Special to The Oregonian

Having presented Jeff Goode's "Larry and the Werewolf" and his notorious "Poona . . ." in the past, Theatre Vertigo returns to this author of wacky plays for some sprightly summer entertainment. A sequel to "Larry and the Werewolf," "Prague-Nosis!" relates more adventures of Dick Piston, hotel detective.

Here Piston gets mixed up with the famous hypnotist Zing the Amazing; a self-proclaimed celebrated actress; a possible jewel thief; and a man with no pants -- all of whom may or may not be Czechs. A parody of the hard-boiled detective film noir genre, Goode's comedy is full of Groucho Marx-like wordplay and fast-paced physical farce.

Directed by Ben Plont, the company of five frolics through the piece with obvious joy. Tom Moorman's Piston is wonderfully humorous as the would-be smooth hotel dick, who can't seem to remember where he put his gun. Whether introducing his shadowy world through humorously cliched monologues or displaying a gamut of grimaces while spoofing slow-motion fight scenes, Moorman's Piston is ever the likable, earnest but innocuous detective. As the seemingly innocent Pleasure Hello and the mysterious Misha Novakova, Camille Cettina and Melody Bridges, respectively, are both fun. Playing the pantsless Havel Presley, Darius Pierce hilariously writhes and slithers and hops about the stage, and Kam Sisco portrays Zing with outlandish panache.

Continues 9 p.m. Thursday-Saturday (9 p.m. Sundays, July 27 and Aug. 3) through Aug. 23, Theatre Vertigo at the Electric Company, 2512 S.E. Gladstone St., Suite 200; $12 (pay what you will on Thursdays), 503-306-0870.