The Method Gun: Austin's Rude Mechs Bring A Playfully Absurdist Play to RADAR L.A.
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The last date listed for The Method Gun was Sunday June 26, 2011 / 6:30pm.
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Reviews & Ratings
Featured review from Daniel Duling
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Rude Mechs from Austin, Texas, is a theatre company that should not be missed. Their previous visit to UCLA Live with "Lipstick Traces" several years ago was a memorable evening of confrontational and electric theatre. "Method Gun" is a bit more coy, definitely appealing to theatre insiders with its high-concept vision of a group of confused and conflicted "actors" who were abandoned by their acting guru in the 1970s and stumble along trying to figure out if they can eventually perform their long-awaited performance of "Streetcar Named Desire" minus all the scenes involving Blanche, Stella, Stanley and Mitch. Which, as you might assume, leaves only smatterings of atmospherics and bit players. It's a funny idea that quickly wears thin. But that's intentional, too, for this cold-bloodedly smart and gifted ensemble. With cunning precision, the play insists on meandering through goofy acting exercises and personal breakdowns/break throughs, all held at a safe remove, with appearances by a curious tiger -- that's right, a tiger -- whenever things threaten to become too coy or insular. I couldn't help comparing this to "Circle, Mirror, Transformation" which recently played at SCR, and which, though critically lauded, was inferior to this in ALL ways. Where "C,M,T" was leaden, drab and smug as only over-privileged, self-referential theater can be, "Method Gun" knows exactly what it's doing, and knows how to pay off what it sets up in perhaps the most breathtakingly beautiful and touching ten minutes of theatre I've seen in years. I realize that saying that may create a dangerous expectation, but if you're choosing to go see this rare performance by Rude Mechs, you're already displaying a level of adventurousness that makes me think you'll be pleased and touched by the ultimate payoff. If you care about theatre, you owe it to yourself to support this company. They'll sneak up on you, dare you to be bored, and then win you over in ways you never expected. Not your grandparents' realism, thank God, but evidence that there are still ways to be surprised onstage in the hands of committed and creative artists.
Quotes & Highlights
- "Charming... gorgeously rendered... both stunning and haunting." --American Theatre Magazine
- "Honest, brave and often hilarious exploration of the creative process... absurd and awe-inspiring." --Louisville Courier-Journal
The Method Gun
Written by Kirk Lynn
Directed by Shawn Sides
Created and Performed by Rude Mechs
The Austin, Texas-based collective Rude Mechs takes a wild and inventive look at the cult of acting in The Method Gun. Presenting themselves as the abandoned disciples of a questionable acting guru, the company attempts to realize their mentor’s vision of a radically reduced production of A Streetcar Named Desire.
Shifting from the moving, if minimal, Streetcar to the methods of a company that is now the sole vessel of an acting technique called “The Approach,” The Method Gun follows a misfit ensemble as it courageously pursues its craft, touching upon the mechanisms of process and passion, doubt and devotion, in the pursuit of art.