Kapoot | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader


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KAPOOT, Lid Productions, at Strawdog Theatre Company. They're made up in whiteface, but these are not your usual Marcel Marceau wannabes. Flog and Plotz--the clowns comprising the cast of Kapoot--are grotesque creatures with death's-head visages (allegedly based on the masked demons of Hopi and Zuni mythology) dressed in striped suits like prison uniforms and headgear sporting protean antennae. Human nature being universal, however, their chief activity is taking advantage of each other: communicating in wordless monosyllables, they squabble over food and compete for the attentions of a pretty girl (conscripted from the audience) but unite in humble obeisance to a likewise inarticulate God. Cleverly staged scenes include a World War I flying fantasy and an imaginative sequence in which the mischievous Plotz manipulates Flog's dreams.

None of this adds up to much of a plot to be sure, and one catches echoes of Mummenschanz and Blue Man Group. But the agile Daniel Griffiths as the ill-tempered Flog and Stephen Eric Chipps as the hapless Plotz have forged a decidedly original production from these familiar techniques and dynamics, and director Gregg Goldston keeps the pace brisk and the show uncluttered throughout its 60 minutes. The result is satisfying if lightweight entertainment. (The occasionally bawdy humor of the evening performances is excised for the Sunday matinee, rendering it suitable for juvenile audiences.)

--Mary Shen Barnidge


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