Warts and all
"Red Frogs," based on Aristophanes' "The Frogs" and a host of other influences, leaves us a little bit at sea as to its murky meaning.
By ROBIN EISGRAU
According to the program, "Red Frogs" is inspired by Aristophanes' "The Frogs,"
Charlie Chaplin, the idea of a divine comedy and the Iraq Liberation Action
Committee, of which the playwright, Ruth Margraff is a member.
That eclectic hodgepodge of a list may give you some idea of what's in store in this play. "Red Frogs" is a whirlwind trip on the cultural cyclone. The play throws history, pop culture, sex, politics and media saturation into the stylistic blender and firmly pushes the chop, blend and liquefy buttons all at once. The trouble is, someone forgot to put the lid on that blender and the
audience has to gaze at the splatterings on the ceiling and try to figure
out what is happening as the play goes on.
Set in both a surreal Coney Island and cartoonish Nantucket, with a giant
crab and huge French's mustard nozzle in the background, Red Frogs tells the
loopy tale of media mogul Beatifica Strata as she is plagued by a chorus
seeking a sort of cultural vengance upon her.
|Written by: Ruth Margraff.|
Directed by: Elyse Singer.
Based on The Frogs by: Aristophanes.
Cast: Crystal Bock, Nicole Lowrance, Stacie Karen Robinson, Molly Powell, Steven Rattazzi, Nina Hellman.
150 First Ave. at 9th St.
Feb. 28 - March 24, 2002
She also has altercations with her dog (played by Steven Rattazi) and her
maid, with whom she engages in oral sex at one point. (You may not want to
bring the kids to this one.) What rescues "Red Frogs" from being simply
unintelligible are the performances, which are all outstanding. All the
actors put a lot of passion and life into their roles, which makes the play
engaging to watch, yet it's so difficult to follow that it can leave you
frustrated. In all, "Red Frogs" is a mind-warping exercise in surreal
|MARCH 12, 2002|
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