Dallas — The life of a mime can be dangerous and obscure. For this reason, BruNO and lOUIe—that’s Bruno and Louie with an emphasis on their respective attitudes—want to shake things up by embarking on a quest for fame. BruNO and lOUIe is produced by Prism Movement Theater and continues its run as part of the Festival of Independent Theatres (FIT) at the Bath House Cultural Center in East Dallas.
Director, writer, and Prism Movement Theater cofounder Jeff Colangelo is the person responsible for bringing mime, what is typically seen as street art, into the Bath House theater. By mixing it with clowning, physical theater, and dance, Colangelo has created something fresh, entertaining, and downright hilarious. The outstanding, high-energy choreography is also Colangelo’s.
Expertly played by Omar Padilla, adorable Louie steals your heart with his enthusiasm and smile. But due to his willingness to say oui to everything that comes along, he also has a knack for getting into trouble.
Rafael Tamayo’s more sensible Bruno tries to keep things in order, which is no small feat. Luckily, he has ready access to a magic red button that sets things right when everything goes off the tracks, giving the duo an opportunity to try, try again. Tamayo shines in his role as the straight man.
Their road to fame starts out at an energetic table tennis match before hopping to film production and on to rock stardom. Musical numbers include crowd favorites “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton and Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” with assistance from audience members. Those who participate are tasked with rocking out on air guitar, air drums, and air keyboard.
The last portion of the narrative takes a dark turn. There is mimed violence throughout, but for the most part the show is family friendly and suitable for children. But then there’s a shootout with the police (known only by a siren) and a car chase that ends with an upside-down vehicle. The actors easily transition to action heroes for this scene.
With mime, timing is critical, which means it’s obvious when cues are late. With only a handful of delays in a show consisting of a multitude of technical cues, Sammy Rios’ expertise is obvious. Her complex sound design adds a naturalistic dimension to the play, which unlike traditional mime, includes dialogue and lots of sound effects.
As with classic comedy duos like Laurel and Hardy or Abbott and Costello, the comic effect of each individual actor increases exponentially in their interactions with the right partner. BruNO and lOUIe will have you laughing whee whee whee all the way home.
» BruNO and lOUIe continues in the following performance blocks:
- 2pm Saturday, July 21
- 8pm Saturday, July 28
- 8pm Thursday, Aug. 2
The 20th Festival of Independent Theatres
July 13- August 4, 2018
Bath House Cultural Center,
521 E. Lawther Drive, Dallas
Tickets and passes go on sale in late June
Call 800-617-6904 or visit www.festivalofindependenttheatres.org