See, this kind of production is *exactly* why the Fringe exists. I can’t really imagine another set of circumstances where a company would have the cojones to do something like this: a live-action, moment-for-moment and gag-for-gag re-enactment of the Marx brothers’ lost silent film Humor Risk. My overall verdict? It’s an interesting, if flawed concept.

Despite criticisms, I thought it actually contained several classic Marx brothers moments, although it occasionally went over the top – was the scene with the flatulent chicken absolutely necessary? The “penguins in the piano” bit during Chico’s number was a great sight gag, but I thought the cast spent *way* too much time with it. Also, the harp solo lost a lot of its impact in a silent production. Groucho in particular was ashamed of the source film, and it’s not hard to see why here: bereft of his trademark one-liners, he was apparently reduced to prancing around in a schoolgirl outfit and making obscene hand gestures. Still, well worth seeing if you get the chance, which isn’t likely this side of the River Styx. (eyebrow wiggle)

Questions? Comments? Enraged invective? Check out my answers to occasionally asked questions in Notes on Notes, or the contact info linked from that page!


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