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The Man with Pussy Galore

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The Man with Pussy Galore, Chemically Imbalanced Comedy, at the Cornservatory. James Bond films are ripe for parody--as Mike Myers's Austin Powers movies have proved. But Bond flicks are already so outrageous that they're a tougher target than one might imagine. Chemically Imbalanced Comedy struggles with this challenge in its improvised parody of all things Bond: working audience suggestions into a loose plot, the troupe follows the well-worn path of send-ups by other companies.

The ensemble is most successful when it's most serious--and silent. A macarena scene at a Brazilian club is perfect in its posh poutiness (Josephine DeJesus works well as Bond's colleague and lover). The fighting scenes are tight and funny, especially one that pits Agent Double O Ohhhh (David Lawrence) in his roadster against two goons on motorcycles, their "headlights" tinfoil-covered discs on their chests.

But the quips thrown out by most of the actors induced cringes rather than laughs. On the night I attended, the players expressed frustration with one another and with the tech crew--an exasperated Jin Kim, who plays the villain intent on world domination, even said while waiting for the lights to come down, "We're done, we're done!" Part of the problem was certainly a sparse, low-energy crowd. And part seemed due to an ensemble that hadn't yet jelled.

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