I got to be one of the excited crowd members for that WFAA morning show and can say the show completely lives up to the hype. The Last Two People on Earth: An Apocalyptic Vaudeville is holding a short week long run at the Eisemann Center. The world premiere production is a fun partnership of two Richardson's favorites, The Eisemann and the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. The show stars frequent Richardson visitor Mandy Patinkin, NYC's talented fella Taylor Mac and is Directed and Choreographed by the legendary Susan Stroman. Click through for my review of the show.
"It’s the end of the world as we know it. A flood of biblical proportions leaves us with only two people on Earth, who discover their common language is song and dance. Together they chronicle the rise and fall and hopeful rise again of humankind, through music that runs the gamut from Rodgers and Hammerstein to Sondheim, R.E.M. and Queen."
And run the gamut these two talented actors sure do! The last two gents on the planet tell their incredible story of survival through nearly 30 wonderful songs, and all that without an intermission! That's right it's an hour and half of pure vaudeville antics with two seasoned actors.
Taylor Mac washes ashore onto an unnamed beach in the middle of nowhere after a terrible apocalyptic tsunami takes everyone away. Taylor has a super energetic style that allows for a childlike sensibility to the grumpy old fart that he finds sleeping in a giant trunk on the beach. Mandy Patinkin plays the old forgetful vaudeville performer who is slowly awaken by his enthusiastic new friend. Singing, dancing and even some overtly gay vibes ensue.
I was a bit skeptical that these two fellas could hold my attention for an hour and half, but the sure fluid pacing of the production debunks any of those fears. These two put on a non-stop barrage of sure power that is just so lovable and enjoyable to witness. From the opening Irving Berlin tune, "Isn't it a lovely day to be caught in the rain" you're hooked. It's the mixture of old stand by tunes and modern songs like R.E.M's "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I feel fine)" that keeps the audience on their toes in anticipation of what is next. Mandy's drunken rendition of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" is worth the price of admission alone! Surprisingly the more sorrowful tunes actually hold as much weight as the fun songs. The Gillian Welch tune "My Morphine" showcases that sorrow filled world but doesn't cause you to jump ship.
The constant threat of another deadly thunderstorm creeps in and out of the play at just the right intervals so that the actors are always kept on guard. Susan Stroman's choreography really stands out as we see one actor completely at ease with his talents and the other battling through re-learning all those familiar steps. It's a great dynamic that allows for not only some fun physical comedy but also a real bonding between Taylor and Mandy's characters. They have to take care of each other because they don't have anybody else, or better put it's like their take on Tom Waits', "If You Ain't Got Nobody", who do you have?
Overall this short run is a must see!
For full details on ticketing and the show please go to http://www.eisemanncenter.com/.