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In the News
As the REM song goes, “It’s the end of the world as we know it — and I feel fine.” But for the two mismatched characters in “The Last Two People on Earth: An Apocalyptic Vaudeville,” life isn’t so free and easy — at least not at first — as they deal with their last-man-standing status with song, dance and schtick. Existential angst is here performed by appealing opposites Mandy Patinkin and downtown performance artist Taylor Mac. The odd coupling works well, each playing to his own strengths in this musical two-hander that starts off twee but ends up terrific. The show will please both artists’ camps and looks promising for future engagements, but whether it crosses over to the mainstream will depend on theatergoers’ attraction to high concept and low comedy.
Patinkin and Mac play the two survivors of a flood of biblical (or global warming) proportions. Gaining each others’ trust through their common language — song and dance numbers — the pair run through a wild range: Rodgers and Hammerstein to R.E.M.’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (and I Feel Fine).”
Composer. Poet. Conductor. There doesn’t seem to be much that Medfield’s Matthew Aucoin can’t do.
A savvy theatergoer could be forgiven for supposing that the only circumstance in which Mandy Patinkin and Taylor Mac would create a show together would be if the two theater artists, each with very different bodies of work, were the last two people on earth.
“It is a vaudeville, but within that vaudeville, it’s about two people coming together and understanding each other’s quirks and personality,” says Susan Stroman, the show’s director. “Two people who, being alone, ultimately know that the only way they will survive now is if they get along.”
"To quote Oscar himself, 'He fascinated everybody worth fascinating.' I found his story to be particularly apt for a performance work because so much of it is about just that, performance - Oscar performing as a cultural icon during his lifetime, the way he performed the 'role' of Oscar Wilde, performance in terms of his sexual identity and the culture of his time forcing that underground."
"At long last, Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences has approved the proposed theater, dance, and media concentration after months of deliberation. Harvard students can declare the new major this fall, but senior Mark Mauriello, 22, already had a jump start."
"It’s fitting that the Harvard senior will soon portray Oscar Wilde: As a budding playwright, Mauriello reminds us of the man he’s playing."
"Wilde’s rise and fall mirrors the elusiveness of fame today, more than a century later, and the danger of living our lives so constantly in the spotlight. It also captures the timeless fervor of lust and young love, and the lengths to which we go when we find ourselves caught up in unhealthy but intoxicating relationships."
“The Mikado” remains a clever, light-hearted entertainment, and the Hypocrites have given it a high-octane dose of additional zing that even die-hard fans will embrace, while neophytes will finally understand the staying power of Gilbert and Sullivan.