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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Review: Hypnogogic Logic

By Gaëtan L. Charlebois

WildSide launched its 14th edition tonight with much noise, and the noise came in the form of the troupe, Uncalled For, and their new work, Hypnogogic Logic. The company of four played to a packed house of devotees. It was a nice, explosive start to the Festival.


As I have said elsewhere, Uncalled For is one of the smartest comedy teams in the city but the problem, with their new work, is they may be too smart by half. Their energy—both intellectual and physical, is in full view from the first moment of the evening (which has, as its conceit, that state of sleep in which the weirdest things happen in your dreams; ie: the sketches). But the person most clearly missing in action is a director (the program tells us they directed themselves). As a result, the pacing is too mad, the voices loud and fairly unmodulated, and finally the show overstays its welcome (and could have handled 15 minutes cut from its 75 or so)...high energy becomes, far too soon, relentlessness.

This being said, the piece is a true feat of scripting. (Matt Goldberg, Mike Hughes, Dan Jeannotte and Anders Yates wrote, with Nicolas Wright performing where Hughes does not). The influences, from Monty Python, early Stoppard (The Real Inspector Hound), Eddie Izzard and even Ross Nobel, are clear and the company is fairly brave about opening rhetorical doors and walking right through them. Which is why we wish they would take just a little more time to let that dazzling script breathe. 

In the last sequence of the performance things start to look like everything you could wish for and I suspect that, later in the run at Centaur, this will turn into a smashing time out. These boys have charisma, looks, a way with a sight gag—the whole package. They just need to slow it all down and trust what they have to say and not, instead, run it over with a truck, all horns blaring.

Hypnogic Logic is at Centaur's WildSide Festival.

1 comment:

  1. Right on review!
    The energy of youth was explosive but undoubtedly breathing room was needed..

    I found it clever on Uncalled For's part to use the conceit of a dream state so as to give permission to string improvs together..anything goes and everything did. The 'thing' (conceit) that made the piece work was one and the same that weakened it...too many topics ...too much..,,overload.
    But no one can detract from that explosive energy on stage...the incredible vitality of youth that brought many if not all to their feet in high applause!

    Anna Papadakos


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