A Company of Wayward Saints, TinFish Theatre. The first act of this George Herman play is a comedy about the star egos and stage antics of a commedia dell'arte troupe of nine actors. Desperate to earn the cash to return home, they eagerly take up the offer of a duke to supply the necessary funds if they perform a satisfactory show depicting the history of man. Unfortunately these performers can't even complete a scene--arguments about who's upstaging whom always interfere.
Although the first act has some funny lines, the endless series of scenes that devolve into petty bickering soon grows tiresome. Maybe this explains why Herman penned such a different second act: it appears the characters have been to a New Age self-help group during intermission. They apologize to one another, read some inspirational missives, and take the stage to present heartfelt dramatic scenes demonstrating the passages of birth, adolescence, marriage, and death. Learning to put their passion for the stage before their pride, the actors again become a company.
Ho hum. The tenuously linked scenes that bring us to this feel-good conclusion prove just as tedious as the squabbling. Each member of the TinFish ensemble, directed by Heath Corson, shows either comic talent or a flair for the dramatic, but never both. This schizophrenic play might make a great showcase for actors looking to impress casting agents, but it does little to satisfy an audience.