Japanese
Romeo and Toilet Anyone apprehensive about seeing a Japanese company's adaptation of the Shakespeare mainstay needn't worry. This physical theater (never degenerating into slapstick) largely without text is a romp combining military precision drills with bathroom humor as the title suggests, all in animé style that links the seemingly unrelated short scenes. To start, an inspector polishes up the troops standing on their heads. The inevitable privy time has two white body suited players as tank and bowl set to receive first a #1, then a #2. Next come two vomiters, whom the bowl (the squatting half of the animate washroom fixtures) magnificently slams with the falling seat (made of arms linked in a wide oval). A later strobe-enhanced interlude is mild compared to the samurai-inspired mayhem that precedes it. The only overt reference to the star-crossed lovers of Verona is an over-the-top weeping fest to accompany a reading, presumably of the death scene. There is little discernable English to be heard apart from a guru's "No Problem" response to various physical overtures by pairs of players. The six compact men of Kaimaku Pennant race company under Yu Murai's direction are well trained and go about their antics with conviction. However their inscrutable facial expressions combined with martial arts ferocity for shouts and swipes make for a puzzling if ultimately entertaining time. At HERE -Mainstage. 1 hour. [Lipfert]

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by David Lipfert
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