Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 8:44 a.m.
Taj Ruler and Tom Reed.
Photo courtesy Brave New Workshop
Love is in the air, along with all of its sweaty residue, in the latest Brave New Workshop revue. Sporting a large cast and a fast-paced tone, A Snowplow Named Desire shines an ultraviolet light on all the things that make and break relationships.
It's a pretty fun ride throughout, with most of the sketches hitting, and even the occasional weaker piece not outwearing its welcome.
Aiding that is a larger-than-normal cast. Seven performers may not seen like a lot, but considering Brave New Workshop has gone with four actors in some recent revues, they have plenty more flexibility here.
Mainstays Lauren Anderson and Taj Ruler team up with Melanie Wehermacher for an act-one highlight. The first two play the longtime best lady friends of an unseen man, who has a new fiance. She, named "Hotwife," is beyond perfect. The jealousy it sets off is predictable, but the way the trio play it is brilliant (as is a return of the character in act two).
Andy Hilbrands extends his expertise to the feline world, playing a jealous cat, protecting his owner with teeth, claws, and other catlike resources. It's a funny and frighteningly accurate portrayal.
There are, of course, relationships in various stages throughout, with modern "conveniences" changing the rules. One scene features a fight between partners, where the man (brought to out-of-control life by Bobby Gardner) is horrified to find his pure, "manly" Netflix queue has been infected by the likes of Psyche and Burn Notice.
The extra cast members also allow for more complex musical numbers, with send-ups of hot R&B and more traditional showtunes included. This also gives longtime music director Peter Guertin a chance to really go to town with the songs.
Not everything fires on all cylinders. Both acts' ending pieces have troubles. The "musical chair" bit that ends act one is a bit confusing (or maybe I'm just not getting the musical references) while the lengthy sex-ed bit for act two just doesn't reach the height of madness it should.
That aside, A Snowplow Named Desire
offers plenty of love-based fun to get you through the final (hopefully) six weeks of winter.
IF YOU GO
A Snowplow Named Desire: Love in Minnesota
Through March 29
The Brave New Workshop
824 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis
For tickets and more information, call 612.332.6620 or visit online.