This review must start off as my show experience started off…with an apology… The writer/director John Sowalsky walked onto the stage tonight and announced that yesterday one of the two actresses shattered her kneecap, and with few options at their disposal, the team decided that John would walk the part physically while Elizabeth Heir would read the part from her newly bound wheelchair in the corner. Halfway through this announcement, The Shop lost power, and the audience spent fifteen minutes in the dark. Someone from the audience aptly proclaimed, “When it rains, it pours.” Sadly, the rest of the evening was not smooth sailing for the Indian Ocean Theatre Company.
In To The Outside/D.C. al Coda is two plays. In To The Outside has been performed before, and runs about 40 minutes. D.C al Coda takes the characters Two and B further into their journey, picking up without a break from the events of the first play. Sowalsky relates his work to Beckett’s, and in the sense that it takes a very long time for nothing to happen, this is true. Unfortunately, Sowalsky’s work does not have the punch or drive of Beckett and is handled by a performer and, admittedly, a voice of a performer, who do not seem to have the adequate tools required to elevate the text to an engaging level. What I mean is there were consistently unclear vocal and physical choices, including tons of vague and repetitive pantomime which gets repeated a half dozen times.
To summarize, I believe the words of the show describe itself fairly accurately: “I think this script is screwy…I keep wondering if there’s any meaning to it at all.” Though if you have a penchant for Beckett and enjoy logic puns, then at least the text of this show will appeal to you. As Two says late in the play, “Pause. Pause. Awkward Pause. Pause. This script has more paws than an animal shelter.”