‘Low-Cost Creativity Workshop’: A lesson in team-building, and bungling
By Stephanie Merry
Thursday, July 14, 2011
David isn’t happy, and he’s not going to sugarcoat it. “Meagan and David’s Original Low-Cost Creativity Workshop” begins on what the two actors inform the audience is Day Two of a multi-part course on finding one’s inner star. Apparently the first installment didn’t go so well, what with the low-energy participants, name-calling, can-throwing and cellphone interruptions. Consequently, theatergoers should prepare to be verbally tarred and feathered or, worse, brought up onstage to apologize (which may culminate in an intimate moment, depending on how adventurous the impromptu actors happen to be).
In other words, if you crave the magical invisibility of the fourth wall, you may want to find another show.
Married couple Meagan and David, the inept workshop leaders, are played by Jo Firestone and Dylan Marron. Fringe fans might remember the duo from last year’s “Ridgefield Middle School Talent Nite,” the painful, hilarious show that took home the 2010 director’s award. And rightly so; the pair put on an entertaining performance and demonstrated a knack for turning embarrassing moments into high comedy.
Surprisingly, this year’s show feels even more awkward than a junior high talent show, yet the laughs aren’t so guaranteed. For the first part of the show, Meagan and David display their incompetence through asinine group exercises that involve having theatergoers yell at each other and race from the risers to the stage and back again. The success of these bits hinges on the energy and size of the audience, and during the pair’s first performance — also the first show of the festival — the group was on the smaller side.
The more surefire entertainment grew out of the increasingly apparent tenuousness of Meagan and David’s union. The pair’s bickering came to a head during a particularly hilarious dance-routine-turned-striptease.
In the end, it’s generous of the stars to want to share the spotlight, but they should feel free to keep it for themselves. They’ve already proven how talented they can be at stealing the show.