'Travels With My Aunt' a sweet, strange trip Series: ENTERTAINMENT; Theater review
St. Petersburg Times; St. Petersburg; May 13, 2000; PETER SMITH;
Full Text: Copyright Times Publishing Co. May 13, 2000
When you are promised a play based on a work by Graham Greene, you expect intrigue, dark men and darkness of spirit. In this case, you would be only partly right. For Tampa's Gorilla Theatre is presenting Travels With My Aunt, as sweetly bizarre an entertainment as you will run into, featuring as delightful a gang of human Muppets as you'll find anywhere.
It is rare to run into characters you so much want to be. Kim Crow plays Aunt Augusta with a sheer joy in life. For Aunt Augusta, dreams are as real as brushing your teeth. There are spies and questions and music and grand romantic gestures everywhere for those awake enough to notice, and she is determined to waken her nephew Henry.
As played by Steven Clark Pachosa, Henry is not as boring as he seems to think he is. His ancestry is a little
startling, and he is quite taken with his Aunt Augusta, but he sees something in her that a truly boring person
These two are supported by two sharp character clowns, who play the rest of the play's 25 characters, from
cops to hippie chicks to accused war criminals. Petrus Antonius and Alex Rotella play these various people
with elan and vigor, milking every laugh line for all it's worth. All of these people seem to love Aunt Augusta, too, so we know they're all right.
Just the beginning of this production sets up the nerve of the characters and director David O'Hara. If you are
going to open a show with a Beatles recording, you have a lot to live up to; and if it's Got To Get You Into My Life, you could be setting yourselves up for a fall. Not here: The song recurs throughout the production and every time it boosts the energy of the play and the players.
O'Hara's direction is the equal of other great comedy directors. He delivers the jokes on a pillow of pleasure,
and his pleasure is infectious.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without permission.