The buzz around Tilt at the Hollywood Fringe Festival was positive. The closing night performance at Sacred Fools was sold out. This short, two-character play by Ben Moroski is an intense kick in the nuts. Chester (Michael Shaw Fisher) and Boone (playwright/actor Moroski) are a pair of unhinged, spur-of-the-moment creatures up to their necks in the deepest of shit. They met in a seventy-two hour holding facility for the mentally disturbed. Boone was found running down the Los Angeles River naked with his right hand on fire and Chester, a truck driver, had a melt down when his hands became disembodied from his body.
When they left the facility, they got themselves involved in a scheme to defraud the Department of Motor Vehicles and careened northward to Sacramento in an alcohol-fueled quest that ends up in a cabin where two unfortunate citizens stumble in only to be bound up and assaulted by Chester who breaks their legs. When Boone returns from a tryst with a newfound love, he is horrified by the predicament and even more distressed when he learns that Chester’s solution to the problem is to beat the captives to death with an enormous crow bar. It is the conceit of the play that the audience takes the role of the unseen prisoners.
With much shouting, desperation and sturm and drang, the play surges on with emotions high and the fate of the bound unresolved. There is no adequate solution. The play is an existential exercise that calls to mind a violent Waiting for Godot and the claustrophobia of Sartre’s No Exit.
If there is a flaw in the play, it is that the action becomes repetitious, covering much of same ground with minor variations. The acting, however, is superb. Fisher and Moroski clearly have the bond of identical twins, the verbiage strong and fast, the action intense and unrelenting. It is a tour de force performance á duex.
I look forward to seeing more works from these actor/playwrights. In fact Mr. Fisher’s new musical, Skullduggery: The Musical Prelude to Hamlet will open in September at Sacred Fools. I’ll be there!
Special note: Tilt has been extended with two performances at Sacred Fools Theater (Second Stage) – July 9-9:30pm and July 16 – 10pm.