According to Lincoln Center's new LCT3 project at its slogan, it takes "New Audiences for New Artists." It also takes new critics, hence the establishment of Theater Talk's New Theater Corps in 2005, a way for up-and-coming theater writers and eager new theatergoers to get exposure to the ever-growing theater scene in New York City. Writers for the New Theater Corps are given the opportunity to immerse themselves in the off-off and off-Broadway theater scene, learning and giving back high-quality reviews at the same time. Driven by a passion and love of the arts, the New Theater Corps aims to identify, support, and grow the arts community, one show and one person at a time.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Review: Pig Farm
by Eric Miles Glover

From the brain of Greg Kotis—one half of the pair that created the crude, raucous, and ridiculous Urinetown—comes the crude, raucous, and ridiculous Pig Farm, an escapist and entertaining albeit absurd freak show. Rife with subject matter as diverse as agrarianism, manhood, politics, and socioeconomics, Pig Farm guarantees an unforgettable theatergoing experience no matter what one feels about the show.

Pig Farm explores the eccentricities and quirks of husband-and-wife pig farmers, Tina and Tom, who await an audit of their operations. Before and during the audit, however, several interesting facts about the couple, the government agent who audits them, and a farmhand, Tim, are revealed through bits of well-written repartee and well-staged slapstick. As the exploits continue, the plot thickens and the suspense looms: How does Tom dispose of the excess waste his swine produce? Will he, Tom, father the child Tina wants? Will she, Tina, usher Tim into manhood? Will he, Tim, outdo the government agent in the battle for her affection? Will he, the government agent, never die? Each ensemble member delivers a brilliant performance. John Ellison Conlee and Katie Finnernan are riots as the couple. As Neanderthal and senseless Tim, Logan Marshall-Green is the newfound "Man of a Thousand Faces." Each time the government agent, Denis O’Hare, graces the stage one anticipates impressive theatrics, and "impressive theatrics" are what he delivers.

Pig Farm induces epileptic fits and seizures of laughter all right, but the repartee and slapstick grow tired, predictable, and irksome as the show progresses. In the end, one concedes to the ridiculousness of the plot to uncover the heart and the humor in the otherwise over-the-top circus. That said, Pig Farm is, without doubt, for the carefree and liberal theatergoer who knows how to have a good time.

Click here for information about the show.

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