By Garson Kanin
Directed by Tony Simotes
Starring Jamie-Lyn Markos, Duncan Bahr, and Mark “Gary” Miller
Mad Cow Theatre
In politics nothing ever really changes except the names and the hair styles. Tonight, we find ourselves in post war Washington D.C. There’s big money in cleaning up the scrap metal left over from the European wars, but those silly anti-trust laws keep poor yet rotund Harry Brock (Miller) from getting an iron grip on the used iron trade. He runs some scrap yards here and there; he’s a lowbrow mogul with a business plan based on bribery and deceit. He and his air headed girlfriend Billie (Markos) move down to D.C. to bribe a few Senators, change a few laws and make some real money. There he meets investigative journalist Paul Verral (Bahr) who reports on this sort of shenanigans. Paul agrees to make Billie more socially adept, and they naturally fall in love. He also fills her head with big words like “dictionary” and “constitution,” and while she’s no genius, it’s clear even to her that Brock is up to something fishy. Brock put all his businesses in her name to protect himself, but when she stops signing papers and starts reading them, his gig is up. Ans his drunken lawyer Ed Devery (Holland Hayes) points out “It’s the big targets they shoot at” and Brick is both physically and vocally enormous.
There’s nothing new under the sun, or so I’ve heard, and this story is not only a fast-paced screwball comedy, it’s a totally in sync commentary on the current political scene. Miller is constantly loud and ready to beat up anyone who stands in his way; the fine points of pollical discourse lie far afield form his world. Grease Senator Noval Hedges (Jim McClellan) looks like he’s straight off a campaign brochure, and Bahr remains unfailing polite as he dances circles around the lost in the weeds Harry Brock. But tonight’s clear winner by a landslide is the platinum blonde Ms. Markos. She nails the air headed moll character, complete with the street wise New York tough gal accent. Great supporting action on this gorgeous art deco set came from the too-rarely seen bellhop (Damany Riley) and drink fetching Eddie Brock in his dead-end kids hat. Its easy to laugh at these stereotypes, but only until you realize they are not one bit more over the top than real “leaders.” Vote for this party by buying a ticket; sometimes all we can do about disaster is laugh at it.
For more information on Mad Cow, please visit http://www.madcowtheatre.com