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    Horrible Child


    "Horrible Child" is a head-on collision of faces, words and rhythm.


    "Horrible Child" is not a film. It is not theater. It is not a macabre campfire story. It is not even art. It is almost a poem — but it is not. I know what it is.

    Written and directed by: Lawrence Krauser.
    Cast: Mike Daisey, T. Ryder Smith, Paul Willis, Samantha Bruce-Benjamin.
    Cinematography: Lila Javan.
    Edited by: Larissa Tokmakova.
    Music by: Lawrence Krauser.
    Assistant director: Jean-Michele Gregory.

    Related links: Official site
    Brick Theater 575 Metropolitan Ave. Williamsburg, Brooklyn July 23, 2008, 8 p.m.

    It is ... hip-hop.

    Hip-hop without what you'd call rappers. Hip-hop without attitude. Hip-hop without egos. Hip-hop without bling. Hip-hop by very, very, very white people. Just their very white heads, really, in a very black world, in black clothes, with black hair. Hip-hop of the avant-garde.

    In short, "Horrible Child" is the cast's parents' nightmare of what their sons got mixed up in when they moved to New York to become actors.

    It has a story, or at least the skeleton of a story, or is at least inspired by a story (or is at least, according to its web site, inspired by a photograph). A bantering husband-and-wife-ish couple (longtime Offoffoff favorites Mike Daisey and T. Ryder Smith) recall how they gave birth to The Horrible Child, played by a bearded non-child, Paul Willis. It is likely that these are Horrible Parents, rather than the parents of a Horrible Child, but they get most of the face time so most of the story belongs to them.

    When a sort of Horrible Child Exterminator is finally found, a Horrible Crime is impendingly committed or, alternatively, a Horrible Abomination is impendingly eliminated. Take your pick.

    The point is not to judge but to enjoy. "Horrible Child" is not a morality play meant to challenge you but a word cartoon meant to tickle you. If you think, from this description, that this creation was made for you, then it probably was. Check it out.

    MAY 26, 2008

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