Skip The Critic and The Real Inspector Hound

Not my cup of tea, to quote a character in the play.

Not at all.

After a great, early dinner at Rasika on Saturday, we walked over to the Lansburgh to see The Critic and The Real Inspector Hound. In retrospect, I wish we had gone elsewhere to snag a post-dinner cocktail instead.

I expected farce and slapstick. And the play started off well enough with Mr. and Mrs. Dangle reading from various outlandish newspaper headlines. I liked the naming convention of these types of plays. You know, where the villain is named Mr. Untrustworthy or something equally obvious.

I liked the costumes and staging, but other than a few moments of physical comedy at the end of the first play, it wasn’t really funny. I hoped the second play, The Real Inspector Hound, the more modern day complement, would be cheekier. Alas, too many loooooong minutes of self-indulgence.

When the play within The Real Inspector Hound replays itself, I though for half a second. Oh, I get it. The critics have accidentally become part of the play. That’s clever. Then I thought, egad, now I have to re-watch the same not-that-funny scene replayed. Again. Noooo. Make it stop.

Which in itself is ironic. The plays mock theater critics and supposedly ask us theater-goers to join in the mockery. Unfortunately, either the plays or the performances weren’t self-aware enough. They took themselves too seriously, becoming the navel-gazing that Mr. and Mrs. Dangle foreshadowed at the beginning of The Critic.

Now here’s the funny part: People around us were laughing out loud. As in cackling. There was a woman two rows behind us who was shrieking with laughter. I’m not sure why. It’s like going to see a Judd Apatow movie, expecting to laugh, and finding you’re the only person who’s not laughing. Funny, right?



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