"Road House" is a so-called "fightsical" that pummels the atrocious '80s Patrick Swayze movie of the same name into mullet-sporting, fist-flying, chair-wielding, testosterone-spouting, gut-busting submission.
By TRAV S.D.
(Originally reviewed off-off-Broadway at Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center.)
Pity the reviewer brave or stupid enough to pan producer/director Timothy Haskell's "Road House," an adaptation of the cheesy '80s film starring Patrick Swayze.
One has visions of two dozen mullet-wearing actors descending on the offending scribe's apartment at 2 a.m., flying through the window in slow motion bearing tire irons and baseball bats and expressing their displeasure all over his head, hands, ribcage and personal computer. As this reviewer is not only all-knowing but all-powerful, however, rest assured that the good review you are about to read is the product of admiration and not fear.
|Full title: Road House: the stage version of the cinema classic that starred Patrick Swayze Except This One Stars Taimak from the 80's Cult Classic 'the Last Dragon' wearing a Blonde Mullet Wig.|
Directed by: Timothy Haskell.
Produced by: Timothy Haskell.
Cast: Taimak Guarriello, Rachael Roberts, Harry Listig, Ago the Magic Chef.
Related links: Official site
|Barrow Street Theater|
27 Barrow St.
Dec. 9, 2003 - Feb. 8, 2004
Not having seen the original film is no hindrance to enjoying this self-described "fightsical." If Mel Brooks' universe is one in which everybody is the Marx Brothers, Haskell has created one in which everybody is the Three Stooges. From the intentionally lame charivari that kicks the mother off to the preposterous showdown finale, the production is a 90-minute ballet of slapstick violence punctuated with humor from lifted from a "Hee Haw" blooper reel. "Road House" is a vehicle that kicks ass literally.
The cartoon plot is a macho wet dream. One "Dalton" (played by kickboxer and star of "The Last Dragon" Taimak Guarriello) is a professional bouncer with a zen-like code of ethics and a penchant for being on the outside. When he drifts into a small Montana town he gets his dream job: cleaning up the apocalyptically violent Double Deuce bar, which is sort of like the bar in "Star Wars" look at somebody the wrong way, and a pack of deformed aliens stands ready to break up the furniture. Unfortunately, in his zeal to clean house, Dalton alienates everyone in the town, including the crook who runs it (played with hilarous calm by Harry Listig). But, as in "Hamlet," the plot is only an excuse for the ass-whupping. In "Road House" there is no conversation that does not resolve in a chair-flying, knuckle-busting brawl. Waiting for each new one to erupt is as delicious as the climb up each new hill on a roller coaster.|
Perhaps to demonstrate that he is not completely insane, Haskell has spiked this cocktail with a good dose of 'tude. Witness the unaccountably blond mullet sported by Taimak, the production's tawny-skinned star, and the silly horn-rimmed spectacles worn by the hot, young Dr. Caly (Rachael Roberts) who naturally falls in love with Dalton as she repeatedly patches up his rippling muscles.
| ||As in "Hamlet," the plot is only an excuse for the ass-whupping.|
As a veteran off-off-Broadway publicist and sometime producer, Haskell has developed an incredible knack for showmanship. On top of the irresistible comedy and the excitement of the elaborate and frequent brawls, the icing on the cake is his inspired casting of Ago the Magic Chef as Wade Garret. As Wade, Ago's Italian (Spanish?) accent is as audacious as Taimak's mullet who could be less foreign then someone named Wade? But Ago comes with a whole bag of tricks, including a hilariously somber-looking face that announces itself upon his first entrance as a deapan-waiting-to-happen, and best of all every magician's corniest magic trick, which Ago and Haskell have gratuitously woven into the plot just because, well, they could. While doing cool things onstage for the sake of their coolness may not be drama, it is definitely theater.
|DECEMBER 3, 2003|
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Reader comments on Road House:
i agree from gabe ebbins, Dec 17, 2003
what?! from Jessie, Mar 18, 2006
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