Red Bull Theater reliably mounts excellent productions, and its ’Tis Pity She's a Whore is no exception. John Ford's early 1630s revenge tragedy could be most simply summed up, as some of Red Bull promotional materials do, as Romeo and Juliet with incest. It includes an earthy nurse, a well-meaning but ultimately ineffective friar, and, of course, some extremely forbidden love.
But, in addition to its Shakespearean echoes, it also features hallmarks of the later, Jacobean stage, such as a double-dealing servant, an inept gallant, and corrupt Catholic clergy, as well as spectacular, often darkly comedic onstage violence, and it is equally reminiscent of John Webster's The Duchess of Malfi and Thomas Middleton's The Revenger's Tragedy, both of which Red Bull has previously staged and the
A mysterious parrot brings Fiona (Rachel Nichols) into the nighttime world of Lyman (Jackson Hurst), a quiet loner who works on the highway helping stranded motorists. When a talkative parrot flies into his trailer, Lyman becomes obsessed with returning the bird to its owner, leading him to Fiona, a determined librarian
If the trailer is any real indication, my money is on this one coming together into a very solid effort, and one that I think many will find themselves watching again and again.
Below check out some more info, the trailer, and a few images, and find out if this one will make appearance near you.
A sassy parrot and a free-spirited librarian upend the well-ordered life of a solitary man.
Lyman (Jackson Hurst) is a loner, working the graveyard shift for the Courtesy Patrol. When a
Like the Old West, the terrain of outer space in "Astronaut" is littered with greased geezers, scoundrels, malcontents, blowhards and psychos. It's a tough and dirty universe where hard-boiled astronaut Samuel Curtis (Cory McAbee) ekes out a living, blasting away at several dubious and dangerous enterprises. His latest mission is indicative of the slim pickings in his buggy world: He must deliver a cat to an outer-asteroid saloon. Like every gin joint in the universe, this saloon is populated by unsavories, including Curtis' former partner (Joshua Taylor), a pirate and fruit thief who loads him with a crazy device that will lead him to a rare life form -- a genuine girl. Make sense so far? Well, probably not. Admittedly, there's a lot to swallow and absorb. Although much of this yahoo yarn doesn't make much sense on a literal level, that's its oddball charm: It's surreal, gritty and nutso all at once.
In this cinematic head case, it's the telling more than the story that you savor. Writer-director-star McAbee and his scruffy, talented cast and design team have blasted "Astronaut" off into a surreal orbit of campy comedy, including a goofy load of hoedown dance numbers and bizarre stand-up comedy. The brainy, nonsensical plot careens all over the genre-scape and, as long as the song-and-dance nonsense is front and center, it's catchy and funny. Unfortunately, the packed story load often crumples under its own ambitious weight and energy, zigzagging through so many warped and speedy turns that it's hard to follow. In fact, you could study a diagram of the film afterward and still not likely put all the pieces together.
Between the bombardment on your brain cells, there are wonderful respites: The expositional commentary is so out-there and deliriously off-center that "Astronaut"'s philosophical warblings more than compensate for its story wobblings.
Befitting its story line and setting, there are some decidedly odd jiggers and off-road coots in this peculiarity. Although it's never perfectly clear exactly what they're up to, they certainly command our attention. Whenever "Astronaut" gyrates off the narrative map, it's crusty/cooty players stomp to the rescue. Round up all the dead cats and award them to this crew's talented toe-tapping thesps: Tom Aldredge is a hoot as a withered old man with a capacity for mangling a joke, while Rocco Sisto is captivatingly off-center as a demented, bow-tied professor. Among the other colorful geezers and intergalactic gauchos, Bill Buell shoes down a crazy comic dance turn, delighting the brigands and bruisers of this peculiar universe.
Technically, "Astronaut" is engineered with some brainy and warped flourishes. Geoff Tuttle's expressionist/futuristic design is wonderfully absurd, while cinematographer W. Mott Hupfel III's lensings are aptly off-kilter and smartly shaded with harsh and funny light beams.
THE AMERICAN ASTRONAUT
A BNS production
Producers: William Perkins, Joshua Taylor, Bobby Lurie
Screenwriter-director: Cory McAbee
Director of photography: W. Mott Hupfel III
Music director: Bobby Lurie
Music: The Billy Nayer Show
Sound designer: Doug McKean
Production designer: Geoff Tuttle
Co-producer: Michael Krantz
Editor: Pete Beaudreau
Costume designer: Dawn Weisberg
Casting director: Ann Goulder
Black and white/stereo
Samuel Curtis: Cory McAbee
Professor Hess: Rocco Sisto
The Boy: Gregory Russell Cook
Cloris: Annie Golden
Bodysuit: James Ransone
Blueberry Pirate: Joshua Taylor
Old Man: Tom Aldredge
Lee Vilensky: Peter McRobbie
Eddie: Bill Buell
Henchman No. 1: Mark Manley
Henchman No. 2: Ned Sublette
Running time -- 91 minutes
No MPAA rating
IMDb.com, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.