The Millionaire Farmer Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through May 10 2009

This heavily improvised send-up of an 1826 work by Austrian playwright Ferdinand Raimund might have succeeded as a 60-minute late-night show. But with stunning faith in their ability to hold an audience's interest, the folks at Strangeloop Theatre let the tale involving a curse, a human/fairy romance, and loads of allegorical figures run on for two and a half hours at prime time. Very, very bad move. There are some poised, talented people here--Martin Monahan, in particular, provides a nice bounce as Hate--and even a bit of improvement toward the end. But the first three-fifths (that's 90 minutes) of the thing is an exasperating festival of mugging, preening, and unjustified confidence. Part of the problem is the unfamiliarity of the source material. Adapter-director Bradley J. Gunter wrote a thesis on Raimund's play back at Ball State (where a good chunk of the cast went, as well); he knows it inside out. For those of us who don't, the satire just isn't that interesting. --Tony Adler

Price: $10-$15

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