BEST THEATER FOR COMEDY Minneapolis 2002 - Bedlam Theater
Bedlam Theater doesn't do many new plays--one every eight months or so, at most--but they get our kudos this year for three compelling reasons. First, there was their sole full-length play from this past season, the recently closed Terminus. This came across like a comical gloss on portentous science-fiction epics, with characters struggling through dense issues of mortality and humanity on an intricate, spinning set. The play was funny, often outrageously so, as director and co-writer Julian McFaul staffed his spacecraft with an oddball collection of grumpy riffraff and one brilliantly haywire robot. Beyond the hysteria that was Terminus, however, Bedlam is responsible for its infrequent Romps, open cabarets of a wildness ordinarily unknown in these polite parts. And it is here that the Bedlam crew show off the anarchic spirit that makes them most deserving of this award. In addition to live puppet shows, song sketches, and what have you, Bedlam produces hilarious movie condensations, in which a small live cast attempts to act out the entirety of a movie in a scant 300 seconds. Their radical, blatantly homoerotic reinterpretation of 2001: A Space Odyssey is even funnier than Kubrick's actors squatting in monkey suits, throwing around bones.