WAX AND WAYNE
nytheatre.com review by Robin Reed
I hated art class as a kid. I couldn’t draw, the
room was always messy and cluttered and we had more spray painted
macaroni Christmas tree cones at my house than my mom had mantle space
on which to display them. The only way I could get through that hour
every Monday involved Elmer’s Glue. Who didn’t love grossing out their
classmates by peeling off their pasty skin? Wax and Wayne brought
me right back to that demented decadence.
August 15, 2003
You walk down some stairs, through a dark stinky hallway and into a hot dark space they’re using as a theatre. Ah, the Fringe. You’ve got to love it: just when you’ve thought you’d seen it all, they seem to find that obscure beautiful thing you can’t believe you’re seeing. And that, my friends, is Wax and Wayne.
The piece is perfectly suited to the space—scaffolding and a 200-pound vat of paraffin gives it a feeling of Mom’s-aromatherapy-votives-meets-dad’s-garage-workshop. The never-ending soundscape, performed live by Tom Howe, incorporates everything from wonky wires to bicycle tires. And Howe, an overall-clad cutie, sits just off to the side and serves as a totally present fly on the wall of this neo-mad-scientist’s workshop.
Wax and Wayne are Meghan Strell and Larry Underwood and they are incredible. Besides their charm and playfulness, they possess a near superhuman endurance. I won’t give away the surprise of what they do, but for over an hour in that crazy hot basement, they are captivating in their experimentation and exploration. They’ve been working together on this piece for a while, but their onstage discoveries are fresh, exciting and non-verbal. It is performance art at its best—new and exciting and not a lick of pretension anywhere in sight.
Catch this one while you can; fill that space, make it hotter, make them add seats! Local Infinities Visual Theater takes their big, hot melty mess back to Chicago after their last show on Monday the 18th.