Two Unrelated Plays
Two Unrelated Plays – Theater Review
TWO UNRELATED PLAYS is a performance of two plays, the first is called KEEP YOUR PANTHEON and the second is called SCHOOL. KEEP YOUR PANTHEON is a rousing farce that follows the fortunes and misfortunes of an acting troupe in ancient Rome. SCHOOL is a brief comic discourse on recycling, poster design and the transmission of information.
David Mamet is having a great year on Broadway. He will have four plays produced, two of which are Two Unrelated Plays which are at the Atlantic Theatre Company, of which he’s a patron. The first one is about 10 or 15 minutes and has two great talented actors, John Pankow and Rod McLachlan, as two apparently high school teachers debating life, liberty and the pursuit of ecology. And it’s brilliant. It’s very classic Mamet with overlapping dialogue. I once interviewed an actor who said that doing David Mamet meant you had to memorize four times the amount of script for anybody else because there’s so much overlapping dialog. And it’s really a delight. It’s classic Mamet. It’s very smart, very clever, very entertaining. The second one is almost like a high school skit with a really good cast. It’s called Keep Your Pantheon, and it deteriorates from there. Brian Murray, who is not only a great actor but it’s fun to watch and he’s a friend — plays Srabo who’s an out-of-work actor who is lusting after a young man and he has his faithful sidekick, Perlegon who is, again, John Pankow. And the idea is that he’s down on his luck and trying to get a job and then he finally gets a job and then he understands it’s for the richest man in Rome, it turns out to be for the 10th Legion who has just gotten their first defeat, and so he makes fun of the 10th Legion and ends up in prison. And then they give him a way out by converting to be part of the 10th Legion, then he’s going to be put to death. I mean the whole thing is about 45 minutes for one shaggy dog punch line. Not worthy of being even off-Broadway and not worthy of David Mamet. But the first one is great. So maybe — and there’s no intermissions, it’s only 80-some minutes. So maybe what you should do is go see the first one and develop a very bad cough.