Between the Legs of God
nytheatre.com review by Michael Criscuolo
June 2, 2007
All the world's a stage in Art Wallace's gonzo comedy, Between the Legs of God, in which the author posits that the seeming randomness of life is actually dictated by a carefully laid out script. Stage theory, as Wallace calls it, is a creation of intelligent design, and all human events are subject to it. What's a person to do when they find out that everything they do and think "spontaneously" is pre-determined? If they're one of the characters in this hysterically offbeat play, the options include telling bad jokes, baking a cake, or holding a séance.
The action takes place on the birthday of Daughter, an aspiring young actress who's rehearsing an experimental play provocatively titled "Crotch?" Daughter's sole parent, Father, objects to her involvement in the play, balking at the script's opening stage directions that the performers hurl urine and feces onto the audience. "I draw the line at piss and shit!" Father decries. That doesn't stop Hans, the pretentious artsy director of "Crotch?", from coming over to convince Father otherwise. (Decked out in black clothes and sporting a snobby German accent, Hans is a surefire descendent of Mike Myers's old Saturday Night Live character, Dieter.) Before long, the house is overrun by enough crazies for a police lineup. They include a clueless baker, a bitter, washed-up comedian, and a sweet-faced door-to-door salesman who worships a dark god.
This, of course, is when Between the Legs of God starts to heat up. Father, a retired modern dancer, attempts to perform his signature piece as a gift for Daughter. The comedian, inexplicably named Alabama Montana, stands on a spackle bucket and performs his tired routine. Clay, the sweet faced salesman, sings a song. Hans recalls the time he fought off a bear with a stick. All the while, everyone ponders the meaning of life now that they've learned that the universe follows a script (which they verify by finding a page of it stuffed in the couch). Plus, there's a knife fight thrown in for good measure.
I'm not sure Between the Legs of God serves any larger purpose than to make the audience laugh, but it succeeds at that in spades. Wallace and his cronies revel in the opportunity to goof off and publicly air some long-held inside jokes (strictly an assumption on my part based on the friends-and-family nature of the audience on the night I attended). Ursula Cataan (Daughter), Heath Kelts (Hans Jurgen), Devon Hawkes Ludlow (Clay), Mike Rutkoski (Alabama Montana), Trav S.D. (Father), and Adam Swiderski (Baker) all get a chance to shine at their respectively delirious best.
Between the Legs of God makes fun of its own pretentiousness in a swift 45 minutes, which gives the audience plenty of time to tune into Wallace's strange, mischievous wavelength. And, if you're in the mood for something different and a little rambunctious, I do suggest you tune in. You may not catch everything, but you will laugh. A lot.