After the dust settled from Fringe 2004, SRO Productions picked two of the year's most popular productions for a best-of at the Loring Playhouse. Kicking off the evening was Theatre Latté Da's Knock!, which dove headlong into the world of a 12-year-old boy named Toehead (ostensibly a younger surrogate for show creator and star Jim Lichtscheidl). The production was airtight technically, with choreography, pantomime, and actors interacting with projected images. But what made the show distinctive was the way it ceaselessly poked fun at everything: itself, you, childhood, Minnesota, and the absurdities and cruelties of family life. Ken Rosen played Toehead's big sister with icy and unrelenting sadism, and when a video montage showed him repeatedly dashing board games to the ground in fits of pique, younger siblings throughout the audience laughed knowingly. Lichtscheidl put together a piece of lightweight fluff that found a perfect tone; like all talented humorists, he seems to understand that nearly everything is funny when it's looked at the right way.


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