'Irma Vep' is Camp at Its Best
JANUARY 20, 1987 / MONTROSE VOICE 5
Review By Bill O'Rourke
The Mystery of Irma Vep now playing
at Stages is ridiculous. This is camp at
The convoluted plot includes werewolves, vampires, an Egyptian mummy
and a quiet English country manor. It
doesn't make much sense until the final
scene ties it all together. You'll have a
lot of fun trying to solve the main
riddle—what, if anything, does this all
mean? I might say that wild horses
couldn't drag the answer out of me. But
if I did, some would be sure to try. It's
that kind of a show.
Two talented men play a plethora of
parts, half of them women. They truly
surprise us with the rapidity of some of
their changes. On the other hand, sometimes they merely turn their backs on
the audience and talk to themselves—a
hilariously audible dialogue between
two characters played by the same per-
Big Skinny Brown and Bryce Jenson
are the perfectly perverse embodiments
of the evening's slightly languid
lunacy. But why import Jenson, an
interloper from Dallas, when Swind-
ley's own company contains many tai- D Openings
ented actors? That's merely a quibble.
Today, Jan. 20, is the feast day of Saint
Sebastian, felt by many to be the patron
saint of gay people.
B'days: 20—George Burns, Federico
Fellini, Arte Johnson. 21—Placido
Domingo, Benny Hill, Steve Reeves.
22—Bill Bixby, Lord Byron, Ann Southern.
"The noblest works and foundation
have proceeded from childless men."—
Sir Francis Bacon (born Jan. 22)
Big Skinny Brown (in maid's uniform) and Bryce Johnson play all six
roles, both male and female, in Stages' 'The Mystery of Irma Vep'
It was written, after all, by Charles
Ludlum. He won the Obie Award one
year for his title role in Camille. His
theater company is known for the silly
excesses of divine decadence. Sort of
like what Ted Swindley did to The Skin
of Our Teeth.
It was directed for Stages by Ted
Swindley. Tongues are still wagging
about the time he directed a totally
cross-dressed production of The Importance of Being Ernest. His shows often
feature grandoise excesses straight out
of fevered dreams. Sort of like Charles
It was high time these geniuses collaborated for Houston's delight. And
laughable it is, like Greater Tuna Meets
Islands in the Sky (Museum of Natural
Science Planetarium)—Amazing but
true story of Micronesian navigation.
M. Douglas Walton (Watercolor
Society of Houston Gallery)—
representational, yet free and mysterious
Rice Design Alliance Lecture Series
(M.F.A., 21). ONO!
Glengarry Glen Ross (Alley, 22)—Cut
throat real estate salesman. Won the
The Decline of the American Empire
(Bellaire Move Theater, 22)—benefit
Diverse Works. Includes champagne
and chocolate reception. 223-8346.
Royal Pacific Cultural Exchange
Finals (HSPVA)-HITS, Fusion Fantasy and the HSPVA itself compete for a
trip to Taipei. ONO!
We're Not Beatrice (Radio Music
Theater, 22)—Re-opening of the Pre-
"How Do You Do
See why ffWicfig^ is
The Best Value
10 Pieces of
•(less than 47C each)
3113 South Shepherd
(Near W. Alabama)
This could be
They are both excellent.
Be sure to buy your tickets well in
advance. Some of the side seats have
sightlines not of the highest quality.
AT&T gave Houston Grand Opera a
grant of $75,000 to help finance Porgy
and Bess. TJianks!
Oops! It was Justin Breaux, not Murray Goldman who was in Zastrozzi. Justin moved to L.A. Well, see Murray in
P.S. Your Cat is Dead and see for yourself if there isn't an uncanny resemblance.
Auditions: Shivaree: 1/20, Houston
House, 7:00, two men (18-30), three
SISTER MARY IGNATIUS
EXPLAINS IT ALL
by Christopher Durang \S_*
The outrageously hilarious, scathingly funn\
lesson of a lifetime'
Late Nighi Performances
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