HOW TO ACT AROUND COPS
nytheatre.com review by John Jordan
The Present Company and Singularity have done
FringeNYC proud yet again with Logan Brown’s How To Act Around Cops.
This hysterical, on-the-edge-of-your-seat, noir whodunit is definitely
one of the best overall productions I have seen at FringeNYC over the
past few years.
August 15, 2003
Two young men are pulled over for a routine traffic stop and the confusion/fun starts there. I dare not give away any of the plot, as one must experience it as it happens. I never want to be known as a spoiler of confusion/fun, and this is way too much confusion/fun to spoil. I will tell you that Cops is heavy on the paranoia, heavy on the suspense, heavy on the laughs, and at the head of its class for production values.
The script is superb—Mamet-esque with a pinch of David Lynch and even a "Honey Bunny" serving of Pulp Fiction. But comparisons aside, it is original in its own right—very intriguing and, at times, very misleading. My only complaint is that there is too much left unanswered. I left the theatre with way too many questions that only the playwright can answer. I wish Brown would have done so in the script.
The direction by Jon Schumacher is brilliant. The pace keeps up with the action as needed, speeding up when necessary and slowing down for that perfect suspenseful effect. The lighting and sound, which are definitely major players in this puzzle, are fantastically low-key, bleak and sleazy, adding volumes to the mood. Kudos to Technical Director Nick Keslake for setting the stage and the tone.
The ensemble cast is outstanding, each actor giving a consummate performance. It is hard to single out any one in particular, but Susan O’Connor is an absolute gas as K.C. The rest of the company (Andrew Breving, Matthew Benjamin, Chris Kipiniak, Josh Carpenter, Marc Webster, and Veronica Welch) each shine at one point or another. They have obviously done their homework and work extremely well together.
This is how theatre should be. Thanks yet again, Singularity, for single-handedly making this reviewer remember why he loves live theatre so much.