Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Pioneer Playhouse Announces New Season

Pioneer Playhouse has announced their season of plays for 2008.

Leading Ladies
by Ken Ludwig

June 6 – June 21

Jack and Leo, two down-on-their-luck actors impersonate long-lost nieces (yikes! nieces!) of a dying wealthy woman. The old lady's health improves, people are growing suspicious, and Jack finds himself falling in love with his "cousin" Meg. A high-octane Charley's Aunt, by Broadway's leading comedy master. Rated PG.

Morning's at Seven
by Paul Osborn

June 24 – July 5

Kim Darby (who starred in True Grit and is a multiple-Emmy nominee) returns to the Pioneer Playhouse in this portrait of small-town American life, as a member of the quirky Gibb family, who've lived next door to each other for most of their lives. When sisters Cora and Arry have designs on the same husband, and when the son brings his girlfriend home to meet the folks, things are about to just maybe ... change? Revived to great acclaim on Broadway. Comedy/drama. Rated G.

Death by Darkness
by Elizabeth Orndorff

July 8 – July 19
Special Event! World Premiere!

"You will be changed by this cave," warns Stephen Bishop, the slave guide of a party of tourists at Kentucky's Mammoth Cave in 1842. Before the night is out, two visitors are dead, one is unmasked as an imposter, and more secrets are buried deep in the dark of the great Star Chamber. A murder-mystery inspired by local legends. Rated G.

Saturdays Matinees may be added!
Also, Q&A and meet the author, Thursdays and Fridays.

Love, Sex and the IRS
by BillyVan Zandt and Jane Milmore
July 22 – August 2

Two guys in New York room together, but to save money Jon has been filing tax returns listing the pair as married. IRS man Mr. Spinner comes to investigate and Jon's mother, financee and ex-girlfriend drop in, with complications sure to multiply! Rated PG.

Cookin' with Gus
by Jim Brochu
August 5 – August 16

Set your timer for two hours of laughs when cookbook author Gussie Richardson is offered a dream job: her own TV cooking show ... only to discover she "freezes" in front of the camera! Will hypnosis and her tipsy Gypsy neighbor Carmen help ... or become the perfect recipe for disaster? A sidesplitting comic feast, starring Playhouse artistic director Holly Henson. Rated G.

While I wish the Playhouse luck on their upcoming season, I have decided that I will not be returning this season.

Cast in Easybib.com Internet Ad

I have just been cast by NYU student Matt Porter in his upcoming internet ad for the website EasyBib.com. Matt has one pilot commercial under his belt, which was well received and has been given the go ahead to produce a few more that may actually be on the EasyBib website.

EasyBib is an automatic bibliography composer. It formats, alphabetizes, and prepares your MLA works cited list for printing. It apparently gets millions of hits a week.

I'll be shooting the commercial this Friday evening. The premise is simple: A stuffy professor (I guess I do them well) using the old fashioned way (I remember it all too well) and a student using EasyBib.com race to complete a bibliography, with humorous results.

It looks like a lot of fun, plus it's something to do. The rest from TNOTLD has been nice, but now I'm getting that itch again to get back to work.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Fantastic Two Episode Now Online!

Episode Seven of THE FANTASTIC TWO is now available on their website www.thefantastictwo.com

The episode features my appearance (my voice at least) as KIFF, the talking car.

Lots of fun.

Enjoy!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Final Thoughts On TNOTLD From John Hurley and Brian MacInnis Smallwood

Here are some closing thoughts on TNOTLD from director John Hurley and playwright Brian MacInnis Smallwood.

First from John,

To my cast of 12th NOTLD,

I have been lucky to have had so many shows and so many casts which I have been proud of, but I cannot remember that I have ever enjoyed a cast so much as you both onstage and off.

I'm not going to wish for you such things which only luck can bring such as fame and fortune, but rather it is my sincere hope that you will carry with you in the coming days and years the same affectionate devotion to your art and the same childlike disregard for personal glory and good taste as you have shown to me in the days recently past.

May each of you continue to forget yourselves for the moments you live upon the stage and truly play, and may that joy live in each of you in days and times when your stage is dark.

You were an absolute pleasure to work with and an absolute joy to watch.

You couldn't have been lovelier,

John Hurley

And now from Brian...

Hey Gang.

It's appropriate that the day following the closing of the show is a
dreary one.

I find that all the adrenaline has left me. I'm sick, I'm exhausted,
and I can't wait for the weekend to get here.

But my god, what a show.

This was by far my favorite show I've ever seen. I loved watching all
our work come to fruition in this high paced, REALLY funny, good
looking show. I've never seen an audience in an Off Off Broadway
house react like the crowd at a WWE event. We had them laughing,
cying out, yelling, cheering. We had em in the palm of our hand. I
think about all the exhausted smiles as the audience left, and I think
"You're exhausted from the emotional ride, imagine how we feel!"

To the Cast-
You guys were amazing. You endured gruelling conditions with a smile
and a cup full of blood. You brought Shakespearean caliber to a
hysterical gorefest. I almost thought the challenge that this script
presented would be too much for us, and I'm delighted you all made it
look easy. This show was a gift to the audience, and I hoped you
liked giving it.

To the Designers-
You took nothing and made it into magic. I know it. You crafted a
perfect world for laughter and violence, and that's tough to hit. I
have a closing night present and a check for you. If you're out of
town, tell me where to mail. If you're in town, let me know when we
can hang out.

To the front of house and backstage crew-
Blood, sweat, and turning away customers. Not an easy gig. I want to
emphasize that I am forever indebted to you for making this run as
smooth and rubius as it was. We got buts in seats, put out fires, and
kicked ass. Thank you for that.

To Sarah-
This show was a mitzfah. You took on too much without enough support
and for little pay, and you singlehandedly made this show happen.
I'll remember this, and I got a long memory.

To John-

I want to thank you all for your work, but it's not easy, because it
means its over. Instead, let me say that I greatly anticipate the
chance to work with you again, and you'll be on my short list for a
very long time.

Sincerely

Brian MacInnis Smallwood

A Nice Picture...

...compliments of Larry Giantonio (Feste) of me being directed by John Hurley.

Pictures from Photo Shoot

These are pictures from the photo shoot at Janet Zarecor's apartment a few weeks ago. Thanks to Lanie Zipoy for the shots. The pictures include Benjamin Ellis Fine, Aaron Michael Zook, Reyna de Courcy and Erin Jerozal.






Sunday, November 11, 2007

Click Here for BlogCritics.com Interview

Interview with 12th Night of the Living Dead's Timothy J. Cox
Written by Hannah Marie Ellison
Published November 11, 2007

Timothy J. Cox has carved a niche in the independent theater community as an always reliable character actor. The actor, who just celebrated his 31st birthday last week, has appeared in numerous regional, off-Broadway and off-off Broadway productions.

Acting began for the Philadelphia native when, as a youngster, he was enamored of the movies and of acting idols Jack Lemmon, Spencer Tracy, Albert Finney, and Jack Nicholson. It was while in the eighth grade, as an excuse to get out of math class, that Timothy happened on auditions for the school musical. When he was cast as the male lead, he became hooked on acting and hasn't stopped since.

He is currently appearing as Sir Toby Belch (a coveted Shakespearean role for all character players) in the Impetuous Theater Group's critically lauded production of Brian MacInnis Smallwood's spin on the Shakespeare classic (inspired by the George A. Romero horror film Night of the Living Dead), 12th Night of the Living Dead, now in its final week of performances at The Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center in Lower Manhattan.

During the course of its run, the show has received positive notices from nytheatre.com, Back Stage, OffOffOnline, and even the New York Times. It also received a rave from yours truly here at Blogcritics, with Timothy's explosive comic performance as Sir Toby being one of the many things I raved about.

I had a chance to speak with Tim, as he's known to his friends, about the show and his background.

You've been involved with 12th Night of the Living Dead from the very beginning, correct?

I was invited to participate in an informal reading of the script by Brian (MacInnis Smallwood, playwright) and James David Jackson (Artistic Director of the Impetuous Theater Group) in April of 2005. I had met Brian while working on a production of Measure for Measure a few months before; a production that John (Hurley, director of 12th Night of the Living Dead) had directed. Brian's one of the funniest people I've ever met, so when he told me the idea and where he wanted to go with it, I was very flattered to be asked and graciously jumped on board.

Obviously, the Impetuous Theater Group became sold on the idea and followed up with an "extreme" staged reading of the play?

Yes, that was in February of 2006. I was thrilled to be a part of that, especially since John, who's wonderful to work with, was directing. John creates such a fun environment for the actors to work in. He lets the actors play. Plus, he's also very knowledgeable on the subject of zombies. Anything you want to know, ask him. His energy and enthusiasm for the subject is amazing. I think he did 20 minutes on the history of zombies at the read through. I swear, he should go on a lecture tour. It would be educational and highly amusing, I'm sure.

You rehearsed the reading like a full blown production?

We rehearsed for two weeks and then presented it over two nights complete with the blood and guts and people just went crazy over it.

And now, people are going crazy for the production?

Yes, it's been very thrilling. The reaction to the production has been astounding. The reviews have been nice and people are getting the praises they deserve. It helps that the Impetuous Theater Group has a large fan base. They've had a string of successful shows and they're great people, so it's been lots of fun. It's a shame that we're closing, but I don't think you've heard the last of this show. Imagine if this show became a staple on the independent theater scene, playing every Halloween? How great would that be?

In speaking about your performance as Sir Toby, one of the things I loved about what you brought to the character was a kind of roguish charm.

Thank you. Yes, Toby is definitely a rogue. He's all about the good times and if he has to con someone to have his fun, so be it. I mean, look at his relationship with Sir Andrew. He's stealing his money, getting him drunk, just using him in every possible way. But then you look at how he is with Maria. He wouldn't dare pull any of that nonsense with her. She'd kick his ass. Plus, I think Toby really cares for Maria. He tries to turn on the charm for her.

The other thing I adored is how you and Benjamin Ellis Fine (hilarious as Sir Andrew) were so completely and wonderfully aloof as to the presence of the zombies; like completely and utterly ignorant to the fact. It was hysterical.


Yes, Toby and Andrew are not the sharpest knives in the drawer.

When discussing the production, one must never leave out the blood and guts. They play a major role in the production.


Yes, they do. They're like another character. The thing I love is how audiences have been howling with laughter as we slip on the blood and guts at the end of the play. They just want more and more of it. I give a lot of credit to Alley Getz, our gore mistress, for all the time she's donated to making all of that stuff work. I must also commend our costume designer Lilli Rhiger, who has had the unfortunate task of getting all the blood and guts off the costumes. They're both wonderful. Everybody involved in the show is wonderful.

I wanted to speak a little about your background. Judging from your website , which features an amazing gallery of the roles you've played, it's obvious that you like character roles.


I'm not tall, dark and handsome. My face is not the kind of face that sets hearts to fluttering. I'm a short, stocky guy with glasses, so of course I'm a character actor, which is great for me, because character actors always work. I think that realistic approach has served me pretty well so far. Lord knows it's saved me a lot of heartache and visits to a therapist.

Timothy J. Cox is available on the web at his official website. You can also read his blog, which he updates almost daily.

12th Night of the Living Dead closes this weekend. Please visit Brown Paper Tickets for tickets.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Hannah Marie Ellison Interview...

...went very well.

Hannah and I spoke for about 35 minutes, via the telephone. I found her very kind and energetic. She's a big fan of the show, which is what we discussed mostly, touching only briefly on my background, which I didn't think we were going to touch much of at all.

Hannah said she was going to submit the interview for publication on the BlogCritics site by the end of today, so hopefully it'll be up soon.

It's not an everyday occurrence that I'm interviewed, so I'm curious to see how this comes out.

3 performances of TNOTLD left. 3 sold out houses. Nice!

Will Be Interviewed By BlogCritics Magazine.com

I received this nice email from Hannah Marie Ellison of BlogCritics Magazine.com, with a request to interview me to discuss TNOTLD and my background.

Dear Mr. Cox,

My name is Hannah Marie Ellison, I am a writer covering the independent
theater scene for BlogCritics Magazine.com.

I was treated to your impressive performance in 12th Night of the
Living Dead and I wanted to conduct an interview with you to discuss the
show and your work as an actor.

Please contact me if you are interested. I know you\'re in your final
week of performances, so we can do the interview over the phone or via
email.

Thank you for your time and the best of luck with the remainder of your
run.

Sincerely yours,

Hannah Marie Ellison


Ms. Ellison was one of the many people who gave TNOTLD a glowing review.

We have touched base and the interview will take place, via phone, this afternoon.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Pick of the Week on OffOffOnline

12th Night of the Living Dead was named "Pick of the Week" on OffOffOnline.com

http://www.offoffonline.com/

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Some Pictures from TNOTLD

Here are some pictures of me (and Erin Jerozal as Maria) from TNOTLD. Thanks to photographer Tony Knighthawk for the great shots.



Behind the Rabbit Productions' GHOST STORY

Behind the Rabbit Productions has just launched their first film Ghost Story (directed by friend Jason Godbey and co-starring John Kwiatkowski) on the web.

The film appears as a four episode series on YouTube.com and will soon be launched on other sites as well.

If you blink real fast, you can see a brief appearance by me in the film's funeral sequence.

Final Week of TNOTLD Performances

It all moves so fast, doesn't it?

Just when you think, didn't this just open, we now come to the final 5 performances of TNOTLD.

The show has come together and I couldn't be happier with the outcome.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Some Cool News...

Some Cool News...

What's Hot in New York Theatre

Here's the list of the top ten most-read reviews on nytheatre.com for last week:

1. 12th Night of the Living Dead
2. Jersey Boys
3. Frankenstein
4. Minimum Wage
5. Pygmalion
6. Fuerzabruta
7. Cry Havoc
8. I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change
9. Hamlet
10. Mary Poppins

Friday, November 02, 2007

2 Reviews of TNOTLD from New Theater Corps

The New Theater Corps, as their blog (http://newtheatercorps.blogspot.com/) states, offers a glimpse into what's happening on The New York Stage.

Thank you to Ellen Wernecke and Ilena George for their comments regarding TNOTLD.

Here are their reviews.

12th Night of the Living Dead

Brains are the food of love in this gleefully gory Shakespeare adaptation.

Review by Ellen Wernecke

What would Halloween be without zombies? The wild-eyed, off-balance creatures may drool blood over everything, but they’re just so cute—why, they’re practically human! The Impetuous Theater Group’s production of “12th Night of the Living Dead” could be read as a classically strained call back to the George Romero, social commentary model of zombie, but let’s call it what it is: a joyful and gross re-imagining of a comedy that has never quite been treated like this before.

The love in this Illyria is catching, bite to bite, from the twin passengers on a ship which is struck by a meteorite and wrecked. No one seems to notice the gurgling Viola (Lindsay Wolf), gnawing on a severed arm, doesn’t particularly resemble a boy when she joins the service of the Duke Orsino (Aaron Zook). They don’t even ask her to stand upright for her pains; instead, they pack her off, gleefully biting her way through the crowds, to woo Olivia (Shashanah Newman) at the tomb of her sister. Meanwhile, Sir Toby Belch (Timothy J. Cox) and Sir Andrew Aguecheek (Benjamin Ellis Fine), who in their drunkenness resemble slightly the zombies encircling them, enjoy taunting Malvolio (Tom Knutson) even as he himself slowly succumbs, despite his starched propriety, to a nasty little bite.

However clever, the original premise of “12th Night of the Living Dead” can’t be sustained long—zombies, after all, are not famous for their elegant soliloquies. Where Impetuous succeeds there is in letting the disgusting scenario play out to its inevitable conclusion. These characters don’t get Hamlet-style extended death scenes; they wander off and then return dope-eyed and moaning. Director John Hurley continually raises the stakes on the blood and guts (audience murmurs told of a front-row splatter zone, but no one was brave enough to test it), resisting the temptation to rewind the damage that was wrought when Viola and Sebastian washed up on shore. It’s completely sickening, but necessary and more than a little hilarious. The show is not for the squeamish, but the groundlings would have cheered.

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Now playing at the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center
107 Suffolk Street
Tickets $18, brownpapertickets.com
For more information, visit the Impetuous Theatre Group website.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007
12th Night of the Living Dead

What happens when you cross Shakespeare's Twelfth Night with George Romero's Night of the Living Dead? You get the perfect Halloween treat: a zombified Shakespearean comedy that is a well-balanced mixture of clever, disgusting and hilarious.

Reviewed by Ilena George

The La Tea Theater, which houses 12th Night of the Living Dead, forever won my admiration earlier this year as the venue for Point Break Live!, a production based on the Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swazye film about an FBI agent who goes undercover to infiltrate a gang of bank-robbing surfers. The show involved a lot of audience participation, from soaking the first two rows, to holding them up in a “bank robbery” to actually using a member of the audience each night to play Keanu Reeves’ part. 12th Night has a similar appeal: The show is playful, a little ridiculous and completely entertaining.

Although the space lends itself to productions that have an informal feel to them, that’s not to say that the production is poorly put together. Quite the opposite is true. As a whole, 12th Night of the Living Dead melds together Shakespearean and modern references in several entertaining and smart ways. Lillian Rhiger’s costumes mix elements from modern clothing with period dress: The opening scene features Orsino and one of his musicians dressed in bathing suits over white stockings, while also sporting ruffs. The men wear modern suit pants modified to become trunk hose. Even Feste, who is a long-haired, round sunglasses-wearing free spirit in this production, has his jeans hemmed up to the thigh.

Surprisingly, and satisfyingly, the zombie trope is completely apropos for the Twelfth Night story: not only does much of the dialogue readily adapt itself to a more horrific situation (“What kind of a man is he?” asks Olivia, referring to the zombified Viola/Cesario. “He is of…mankind,” replies Malvolio.), but turning the characters into ravenous, cannibalistic zombies also perfectly illustrates the complete self-absorption of all the lovers in the play.

The show stays true to Shakespeare’s dialogue. However, since the undead are rather reticent, the conversations get more and more one-sided as more and more characters become zombies. But many of the characters are so caught up in themselves that they are utterly unable to see the terrible reality right in front of them. Duke Orsinio’s solipsism is especially hilarious; he forms a close bond with Viola/Cesario, thinking “he” is a willing audience to his (Orsinio’s) constant ramblings on life and love, never realizing the obvious—that “Cesario” is a woman and, at least in this particular production, undead.

From Larry Giantonio’s stoner Feste, to zombie Viola (Lindsay Wolf) and her insatiable hunger for human flesh, to Sir Andrew Aguecheek (Benjamin Ellis Fine) and his dead-on comedic timing, to gaunt and severe Malvolio, played by Tom Knutson, the vivid characters are in turn winning, funny and all completely doomed. Although the zombie comedy can start to lose its luster— at times, there is such a thing as too much zombie physical comedy or dribbling blood—the production includes enough gory surprises to keep the material fresh. No pun intended.

12th Night of the Living Dead is a delicious gorefest, including a (literally) visceral death scene near the conclusion and a grand mêlée ending, one that guarantees a bloody good time.

..........................................................................................
12th Night of the Living Dead Adapted by Brian MacInnis Smallwood
Directed by John Hurley
La Tea Theater (107 Suffolk Street, between Rivington and Delancey)
October 25-November 10
Tickets: $18, 1-800-838-3006, www.brownpapertickets.com

Thursday, November 01, 2007

OffOffOnline.com Review of TNOTLD

Romero & Juliet
by Samantha O'Brien
12th Night of the Living Dead reviewed October 25, 2007


The Bard had it coming. All of the elements of Twelfth Night are perfectly suited for a zombie horror interpretation: morbid language, contagious insanity, and near-comical ignorance. The most enjoyable aspect of the Impetuous Theater Group's adaptation, 12th Night of the Living Dead, is that they not only take this unique approach, but pull it off with a stunning degree of commitment to the original work.

Unlike the bloodbath that unfolds onstage, playwright Brian MacInnis Smallwood's adaptation is more like careful surgery than wild hacking, as he extracts only absolutely essential and appropriate parts. The synopsis generally remains the same: Viola disguises herself as a male, Cesario, creating a bizarre love triangle between herself, the lovelorn Orsino, and the mourning Lady Olivia. All the while, the show's pranksters, Sir Toby Belch, Sir Andrew Aguecheek, and Maria, down some wine and taunt the stiff steward, Malvolio.

Though Smallwood cuts many lines (nearly all of Viola's: as the first zombie, she's reduced to grunts and squeals for the entire show), what remains is strikingly smooth. He occasionally adds fresh updates to fit his subject (when Feste, the fool, exclaims "as if thy eldest son should be a fool; whose skull Jove cram with brains!" a nearby zombie echoes, "braaiiins!") and assigns some lines to different characters, but his version impressively uses most of Shakespeare's own words to tell a completely different tale.

In this interpretation, a giant green meteor has struck Viola and Sebastian's ship, pulling the vessel down and dragging the siblings apart. Viola washes up on the shores of Illyria, looking a bit pale and, well, different. She walks with a heavy limp and carries herself in a sort of post-lobotomy fashion. Apparently, the meteor has infused her with an insatiable appetite for human flesh – a hunger that is passed onto each of her victims.

One of the most amusing things about watching a Shakespearean comedy is feeling privy to an issue that the characters keep missing. In Twelfth Night, it is their failure to see beyond the gender disguises. This inability to notice unusual realities is also what made the recent zombie comedy, Shaun of the Dead, so amusing. Like the people in that film, the untouched (that is, still human) characters in 12th Night… start out dangerously blind to the plague that's overtaking those around them.

As Sirs Toby and Andrew, Timothy J. Cox and Benjamin Ellis Fine are fantastic aloof fools, giggling and gamboling amidst the bloody scene. Fine portrays Andrew as an amusing kind of man-child with a nice blend of cockiness and cowardice. One moment he’s declaring a duel, the next he’s crying and rocking himself as he’s cradled in a friend’s arms.

Much of the show's hilarity surfaces when Shakespearean eloquence collides with the grit and gore of cult horror. As our Viola snarls and growls at the gate to Olivia's estate, and even bites Malvolio, Olivia's response (lifted directly from the original) becomes absurdly understated: "you began rudely."

The entire cast superbly navigates the unusual territory of spilled intestines and iambic pentameter. Tom Knutson makes Malvolio's transformation into a zombie a particular treat, as the conservative servant gradually loses his rigidity with progressively slumping posture and increasingly breathy, broken speech.

Special effects help the show blend dialogue fit for a production at The Globe with visuals fit for a zombie film by George A. Romero. Increased levels of gore are seamlessly woven into the story. The creepily comical flirting between Olivia and Viola-as-Cesario is a good example. Unaware of the present danger, Olivia takes the zombie Viola's aggression for passion and becomes quite attracted to her attacker.

Even when the zombie bites off her finger, Olivia is not deterred. In a clever spin on Shakespeare's original – which has Olivia sending Cesario a ring as a token of affection – this version has her sending the entire severed appendage.

The production's only weakness is its complete devotion to creating chaos. Often, the zombie groans completely drown out the dialogue. At other points, the action is so widely distributed across the stage that it's impossible to focus. The house, for example, actually has a bar to the side of the main stage. While it's a fitting setting for Toby and Andrew, the bar is located so far from the center that most of the audience cannot see it.

Although the plot centers on disorder, the success of this mash-up rides on its tight organization and nice balance between different genres. In one of show's best scenes, for example, zombie characters pause to have a "chat." While they groan at each other, they hold their lines on cards. The scene is funny and unique, as zombies are traditionally uncommunicative. Leave it to Shakespeare fans to find a way to give pop culture's most ineloquent monsters a method of articulating their thoughts.

Backstage.com Review of TNOTLD (Named "Critic's Pick")

12th Night of the Living Dead
October 31, 2007
By A.J. Mell

What could be more natural than the fusion of Shakespeare's cross-dressing romantic comedy with George Romero's remorseless 1968 zombie classic? Practically everything, of course — but it should be remembered that the subtitle of Twelfth Night is "What You Will," suggesting a somewhat casual, what-the-hell attitude on the part of the Bard. I suspect that Shakespeare, who was not averse to the occasional gory spectacle, might have enjoyed watching the appropriately named Impetuous Theater Group reconfigure his Candlemas confection into a Halloween-appropriate exercise in slapstick Grand Guignol.

Company member Brian MacInnis Smallwood — a name eminently worthy of Shakespearean comedy — wrote the adaptation, and it's easy to assume that he started out with the funny-as-hell title and then concocted this agreeably messy travesty to justify it. The dialogue sticks closely to the original, though this version includes the radioactive meteorite that Shakespeare inexplicably left out. The giant space rock transforms the love-besotted denizens of Illyria into squeaking, gibbering, flesh-eating ghouls who end up feasting on Sir Toby Belch's not inconsiderable guts.

In truth, the conceit is probably more appropriate to sketch comedy; one thinks of such high-concept Saturday Night Live bits as "Medieval Barber" and "Samurai Delicatessen," which traded on similar absurd incongruities. Smallwood and director John Hurley have whittled the play down to a little over an hour, and while that's almost long enough for the concept to wear out its welcome, the cast chews the scenery (and assorted body parts) with such gusto that we don't begrudge the essential thinness of the premise.

Patrons are urged to steer clear of the front row if they want to avoid being sprayed with viscera.

Presented by Impetuous Theater Group at the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural Center's La Tea Theater, 107 Suffolk St., 2nd floor, NYC.

Oct. 25-Nov. 10. Wed.-Fri. at 8 p.m.; Sat., 7 and 9:30 p.m.

(800) 838-3006 or www.brownpapertickets.com.