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)
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