Director: Gary Halvorson
Year Released: 1983
Multi-talented performer Bill Irwin and crew talk about finding a 'new theater' - and, as it turns out, that 'new theater' is recycled 'old cinema.' By summoning Keaton, Arbuckle and (naturally) Chaplin, he infuses all three into a stage performance that draws attention to itself by having the cast speak directly to the audience, dispensing with standard stage-play structure and introducing numerous digressions to the routine (musical bits, ventriloquism). Irwin's insistence that he's de-intellectualizing stage performance and eliminating the need for criticism is oxymoronic and misleading: if anything, the play's self-conscious transgressions and purposely 'postmodern' irony intends to rub everyone's face in pure intellectualism. The (puzzled) audience's average age must have been less than fifteen, since they found 95% of the bits hilarious, including an enormous percentage that aren't funny (unless you find the concept of being sleepy in the morning laugh-worthy).