Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Missoula Oblongata

By Russ Bickerstaff
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Traveling Montana-born, Massachusetts-based DIY theatre group The Missoula Oblongata will be performing its undoubtedly surreal production of The 50 Greatest Ladies And Gentlemen at The Miramar Theatre on August 7th. Though it isn’t listed on the Miramar’s Website Insurgent’s Theatre’s Ben Turk tells me that the group has told him that they, in fact, have the place booked. M.O.'s myspace page also has it listed for the Miramar. I could attempt to sum-up the play myself, but I'd be quoting a far better piece of prose, probably written by Oblogata themselves for a Philadelphia City Guide website. Read this paragraph and imagine a script written by the same person. Here it is:

 

". . .Set just after the Treaty of Versailles. A veteran from the Great War, who is genetically predisposed to cowardice, follows a mysterious letter from his brother to a town that's been swept up by a dance mania. The cowardly veteran befriends a suspicious spider and together they go up against the town doctor, who believes that breakfast (and everything ordinary, for that matter) is beneath love."

 (cool.)

M.O. is a traveling theatre company that looks to perform in bars and out of the way places, with the occasionally more prominent theatre venue like the Miramar. Judging from what I’ve heard and seen, it’s got a patchwork early-to-mid 20th century traveling medicine show kind of a feel to it that is perfectly at home with the size and scope of the budget productions they are able to produce . . . which can’t always be said for small companies with far bigger budgets than Missoula (Oblogata, not Montana, which I'm sure has a sizeable budget . . . )

This is good news. Usually I hear a bout a Missoula show somewhere around the weekend that they arrive in town or some other time by which my weekend’s totally booked and although it does cut into this year’s Milwaukee Comedy Festival, I have a chance to make it to the show. The people from Insurgent have had nothing but good things to say about them and judging from the pics and cideo available on their website, this could be really good . . .


And for some idea of what to expect, here’s a YouTube demo for the group’s The Wonders of the World: Recite.

 

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