SPAGHETTI, created by Muriel Broadman and Mina Yakim; directed by Mina Yakin; with Anne Scavo and Tony Lopresti (to be followed by Lindanell Rivera and Joseph Zwerling in the same roles).
At the Smithsonian's Discovery Theater through Nov. 30.
"Spaghetti," which began a month's stay at the Smithsonian's Discovery Theater yesterday, is a two-person mime show designed, according to its sponsors, for children from kindergarten to eighth grade.
The pasta employed in this production isn't just invisible but also intangible and untasteable. Stars Anne Scavo and Tony Lopresti bound in, wearing red-white-and-yellow chef's outfits, cook up a huge pantomimical vat of "super spaghetti," and then play games with it -- games like jump rope, tightrope and sword-fight. And when Scavo accidentally stabs Lopresti to death, he is born again as a marionette, his limbs cotrolled by spaghetti strands that Scavo, rather gleefully, manipulates.
"Spaghetti" was conceived to fit into a 1980-81 Smithsonian children's series devoted to "Plays, Players and Playmaking." Yesterday morning's performance was the show's first, and that may help account for a few tired stretches and a generally high ratio of cuteness to imagination.
At any rate, yesterday's school-group audience seemed to be of two minds about the production. The younger folks followed it all very closely, laughing, shouting and rushing to the front whenever a possibility for audience participation arose. But their junior-high-age elders seemed to find "Spaghetti" more mushy than al dente , and an adult would tend to agree.