Archikulture Digest

The Cortez Method

The Cortez Method

By Rob Keefe

Directed by Mark Routhier

Orlando Shakespeare Festival, Orlando FL</strong>

Imagine Willie Loman marrying Lady Macbeth and trying to make a life on the set of “Deliverance.” That’s the logline they needed on this world premiere of a New Playfest favorite from last year. Marginally unsuccessful Bill (Paul Bernardo) flies packages from SDF to CMI and other exciting destinations in the Quad Cities area, but he’s stuck on third shift because those damn Vietnam vets won’t retire or die. His wife Sara (Suzanne O’Donnell) has ambitions, she wants a kid and a high tech kitchen and 30 acres of Redneck Heaven, and it’s up to Bill to pay for it. That introduces pill Billy drug dealer Odette (Melanie Whipple), she gets Bill to deliver special packages to the ground crews in the lower Ohio River Valley and that finances the cherry cabinets and the German FickenIhrBudget five burner stove. But what sparks the real household crisis isn’t the month miscarriages or the omnipresent dry rot and termites, it’s the arrival of over the top Walter, Bill’s dead beat brother. Walter has the goods on Bill, and this time only needs $30k to buy a welding rig or a couple of ounces of speed. Bill waffles, Sara attacks and Odette has a knife. It’s deer season and people die every year from accidental gun shot or throat slitting. Problem solved.

While Sara spews bile and gets everyone else to do her dirty work, you feel sorry for Bill and the awful situation he’s ended up in. Walter is the loud guy everyone in an office job knows, but he’s more insidious, he knows just how often he can milk his brother. The cryptic title to this show refers the legend that Cortez sank his ships so his men would be motivated, but here Walter only sets fire to the pizza boxes in the backseat of his Toyota and leaves the windows up. While everyone is solid, it’s Whipple’s Odette that steals the show. She looks like you should smell her down at the bar, and no one should be as successful a dealer as she is with her space cadet attitude but she’s gloriously sleazy, rejoices in the gift of a dead man’s jacket and Praise the Lord, a free Toyota: “They hardly EVER need a-fixing’!” Bill gets the best line of the show, he screams at his unborn half fetus: “Gestate, you Fucker!” I sense this kid will need prenatal counseling.

While some scenes and themes get beat to death (the “death atmosphere” of Bill’s parents’ house, Walters’s inability to focus on or off speed, Sara’s obsession with ovulation) the overall story is entertaining and brutally honest. Walter constantly calls Bill a pussy, Bill constantly validates the accusation, and Sara’s manipulation and self-service only lacks the green makeup to make her character complete. Odette is no prize either but at least she’s honest and appreciative of small favors. The interstice between these lost rustics is filled with blood and violence, and at its heart this is a Shakespearian tragedy – you hate everyone, and those who don’t have the mercy to die are not looking forward to a bright future.

For more information on Orlando Shakespeare Theater, visit

http://www.orlandoshakes.org</em>


Recently on Ink 19...

Garage Sale Vinyl

Garage Sale Vinyl

Print Reviews

Christopher Long takes us on a personal journey of rediscovering the magic of music. It’s just the inspiration I needed to continue my own.

Greg Hoy

Greg Hoy

Interviews

Fascinated by the arcane world of musical gear, Randy Radic spoke with dyed-in-the-wool gearhead Greg Hoy about his setup on new EP Holy Mother of God, how he produces his unique sound, and a gear-gone-wrong moment.

Joe Jackson

Joe Jackson

Event Reviews

Joe Jackson brought his Two Rounds of Racket tour to the Lincoln Theatre in Washington D.C. on Monday. Bob Pomeroy was in the area and caught the show.