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True Stories?

Naked Angels' theater group's comedy plays like an improvised performance.

“Tall (a tale),” a comedic play by Dylan Dawson performed in cold reading form by members of the Naked Angels theater company on January 11, proceeds like a long-form improvisation in its plot and characterizations.

The play’s star, Will Rogers (yes, that is his real name), embarks on a bizarre odyssey that seemed as if it sprung out of an Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre show. The supporting cast played up the eccentricities of their characters, who Rogers meets on his “Wizard Of Oz”-like quest to be “shortened” because he’s too tall (hence the title of the play).

Most notable of these turns in the menagerie were Charlie Hewson’s “Albert,” Patrick Husted’s two characters, “Irv” and “Crusty,” plus “Charlie Daniels,” played by Henry Vick, and the other dual role, Scott Brown as “Dr. Hauer” and “Agent.”

Hewson endowed Albert, a mute oddball, with a lot of offbeat characteristics, all with little to no dialogue. And Husted, particularly as “Crusty,” the most menacing character Rogers encounters along his road, relished his role. Brown, as one of Crusty’s minions, could contort his facial expressions to great effect.

But the tour de force out of all of these was “Charlie Daniels,” who had nothing to do with the country singer of the same name, but rather was an unfortunate soul, also too tall, whom Rogers encounters, doomed to play Goofy at Disneyland to disastrous results.

To the credit of Dawson’s playwriting, the characters and story of “Tall (a tale)” come off so much like they were invented on the spot. Dawson takes a certain revelry in the surprises he springs on the audience.

 

   

     

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