‘Drew the Dramatic Fool’ at Montgomery College’s Cultural Arts Center

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Montgomery College’s Cultural Arts Center made a very astute choice in hosting the production of Drew the Dramatic Fool. On Saturday, September 6, 2014 Silver Spring saw a wonderfully complex amalgamation of slapstick comedy and good-old-fashioned circus clown foolery. For both the four year-old and the ninety-four year-old there was just the right tempo between utter befuddlement and downright merriment. Both the venue and the one-man presentation were appropriate for such a broad target audience.

Drew Richardson as Drew the Dramatic Fool. Photo by Terry Clark.
Drew Richardson as
‘Drew the Dramatic Fool.’ Photo by Terry Clark.

Drew Richardson, a learned graduate of Ohio University’s B.F.A theatrical clowning program stands shoulder to shoulder with the vaudeville comics of old. He superbly delivere a performance that is interactive, fast paced, and intensely physical. His pantomime is well-practiced and poised. His stage presence is disarming for even the stodgiest of stern-faced hold-outs.

Richardson commands a stage that he has deftly designed for well-orchestrated and delightfully chaotic deconstruction. As the vaudeville variety show opens, the audience learns that a suspicious character has done away with the entire cast, leaving only Drew at center stage.

Comic intrigue ensues as Drew must find a way to carry the show alone. His various themed skits are plagued with hi-jinx and antics as respective introductory sign titles are dropped, shuffled, and reshuffled throughout the entire performance.

The most awe-inspiring skit, one that incorporated an oversized ball, a bucket, and a jump rope, had the audience thoroughly engaged with ooh’s and ah’s as the masterful acrobat demonstrated the basic physics concept of center in mass. Richardson, appearing fully undone – with a trash can on one foot, his pants fallen down to his knees, two jump ropes in one hand, and a cutting knife in the other – stupefies the audience as he managed to balance himself, walk the oversized ball, and remain poised while standing in place. What bravado!

The audience was full of laughter and all-too willing participation. Ms. Belthezer, a local mom having her husband and two children in tow said, “It’s very physical, very Charlie Chaplin. We loved it!”

Another young Silver Spring, MD native, Ari and his dad chimed in, “It was slap-stick with goof-ball humor. Dad said that it was,”A definite throwback to Buster Keaton.”

There was certainly much to love about it! The skit of sawing a woman in half was excellent. The puppet show as well as the plate spinner were each quite memorable. I had a magical time.

Running Time: 85 minutes, with no intermission.

Drew The Dramatic Fool played on September 6, 2014 for one night only at Montgomery College’s Cultural Arts Center – 7995 Georgia Avenue, in Silver Spring, MD.  For future events, check their calendar of events.