Sabotage | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Sabotage, Factory Theater.

Quentin Tarantino and David Mamet have certainly written their share of dumb scripts over the years, but they don't deserve Sabotage, the exceedingly stupid homage to their oeuvres currently on display at the Factory Theater. Reducing Mamet and Tarantino to a lot of rapid-fire, profanity-laden dialogue from rock-headed, woman-hating guys, authors Kirk Pynchon, Nick Digilio, and Mike Beyer have crafted a surprisingly obvious and witless parody.

Pynchon's story, borrowing heavily from sources as new as Reservoir Dogs and as old as Stanley Kubrick's The Killing, recounts the attempt by a group of thugs to pull off a great caper, which ends in a horrific, almost comical bloodbath. Digilio and Beyer's script is littered with Mamet-isms ("Listen to what I am telling you") and Tarantino-isms (the final shoot-out is performed to Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir"), but the rhythm of the dialogue feels wrong, as it does when former Bears quarterback Steve Fuller tries to rap on the "Super Bowl Shuffle." Rarely are the exchanges anything more than pale imitations. In fact the only time Sabotage is entertaining is when the script veers off on completely irrelevant tangents, such as a discussion about the relative talents of Prince and 80s one-hit wonder Kajagoogoo.

With the exceptions of Wendy Tregay's bad-ass hoodlum and Mike Beyer's goofy, coke-snorting dork, the performances are as uneven and dully imitative as the script. It was as if I'd paid seven bucks to see my college roommates sitting around the VCR imitating Al Pacino saying "fokk you" in Scarface. A major disappointment.

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