Take a very detailed stage set, excellent lighting and sound, superb actors, relevant costuming and a script that is as flimsy as the roll of toilet paper it was written on and you have a perfectly dismal evening at the “theater”. I am of course talking about the Blank Canvas production of “Bathroom Humor” that is now limping its way along to its May 24th close.
The setting is a bathroom interior at a “work party” at Russ and Lucille’s home (whom you never see). Laura is married to Arthur (the boss) but is having an affair with eight year employee Sandy (who everyone thinks is gay). Babette is Arthur’s secretary who is a cat on the prowl and after Arthur. Stu is “that stinky guy” who has his own version of the “Dare Program”. Peg is a woman with low self esteem who has a Rubinesque figure and came with her father to the party (an old man with continence problems). Rounding out this weird and twisted group is The Big El who has been hired to provide the evening‘s entertainment ala Presley impersonator. It’s a madcap comedy minus the comedy (and for that matter the madcap).
It is not that the actors do not try. There are some very physical scenes including a woman trying to zip her jeans with a pair of pliers, a man jumping out of a two story window to avoid being caught by his wife (after getting his foot stuck in the toilet), an old man who tries countless times to use the john, a really bad Elvis impersonator. But try as they might it’s like putting a checkered tablecloth over a buffalo. It may pretty him up a bit, but it is still a buffalo.
And yet, the audience that pretty much filled the seats could not get enough. They hooted, hollered and laughed with reckless abandon. Go figure. But then again, I can’t stand slasher/zombie/horror movies yet they rake in billions each year. Not to take away from the cast who I will not mention in order to protect the innocent.
Prude Alert: The list in endless so just take my word for it. If you have a grain of moral fiber in your body you will avoid this show at all cost. It is one bad toilet joke after another.
Beefs and Flubs: The acting is great, it is just that the script gives them nothing to grab onto. There are no surprises, no aha moments and no wows. Just 90 minutes of bad gags strung together.
Shooting From The Lip (In My Opinion): Bathroom humor, potty jokes, porcelain poetry. If words like poop, pee, fart and vomit make you titter then this is the show for you. As for the rest, you may want to think twice or thrice about seeing this transparent “comedy”. It scored nary a chuckle from me in the entire 90 lonnnnnng minutes.
Bathroom Humor is playing at Blank Canvas Theatre (located in the 78th Street Studios at 1300 West 78th Street, Cleveland, Ohio) through May 24, 2014. Show times are Friday and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $15.00 and are available at the door or by going online at: http://www.blankcanvastheatre.com/bathroom-humor-tickets/