Why? Why resurrect the most notorious flop in Broadway history? In 1983 MOOSE MURDERS opened and closed in a heartbeat – murdered by the critics. This production presented by The Beautiful Soup Theater Collective certainly lives up to its reputation. It is an excruciating mess on all accounts. So, why bother?
From the opening sounds of crickets chirping, sounding as if they are on steroids to the closing moments that do not come soon enough we wonder what possessed Arthur Bicknell to write this so-called “farce” in the first place – a farce with only a single door that is a closet. Mr. Bicknell has reworked and rewritten and the results are ridiculous.
I went as I was tempted to see if MOOSE MURDERS could be as bad as everyone seems to have thought. It is worse. The cast is amateurish at best. The direction: absent. And the creative elements: not even laughable. The audience (and there were a lot more than I expected at Saturday’s matinee at the Connelly Theatre way over on East 4th Street) sat stone faced throughout and dumbfounded.
Briefly here is the plot: The Holloways have bought an old Hunting Lodge that has a creepy legend attached – an axe wielding Moose on the loose.
Mama, Hedda the family Holloway arrives with her brood of misfits – Gay, a precocious tap dancing brat, her stoned out brother Stinky who has an odd attraction for his mom, Lauraine who is married to Nelson Fay and her wheel chair bound, paralyzed and silent husband Sidney who is attended by Nurse Dagmar – and English improve actress.
There is an effeminate caretaker dressed as a Native American Indian – Joe Buffalo Dance – and two of the most annoying so-called entertainers Snooks Keene and Howie Keene. He is blind and she is tone deaf.
One wonders when the murders will start after the first half hour of waiting for something to happen. Act II – there is an Act II which happens to be worse than Act I mostly occurs off stage and in the dark. You will either be looking at an empty stage for long stretches of a time or sitting in the dark wondering why you are sitting in the dark.
Quotes from the dialogue: “You’re embarrassing us all” – “A huge mistake” – “Even the phone is dead” and “Got no pulse” could all be used to describe how I felt about MOOSE MURDERS.
May it finally “rest in peace”. Through February 10th
Note: Bring back Bullwinkle!
Photo: Samantha Mercado Tudda
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