Review by Kathleen Campion
When others go high, I go low. So, after reading Jesse Green’s delightful recapitulation of current and coming Resistance Theater offerings and failing to win the Public Theater lottery for a look at the contentious dogs of war slipped at the Delacorte — I wandered over to the Judson performance space on Washington Square South to see the low end of the city’s menu of anti-Trump diversion.
Now, given the title: Faust 3: The Turd Coming, or The Fart of the Deal, a theatergoer would have to be decidedly dim to be surprised by the scatalogy-imbued script. While, on the one hand I’ll offer playwright Paul David Young a tip of a smutty cap for a remarkable variety of fecal reference, I fear beating that one drum does lose its shock value about twelve minutes in to the sixty-minute presentation. When your significant word play is more “Charmin’ ” than challenging, it makes for a long hour.
The press release describes a “political satire of the Trump fiasco performed by an ensemble of four clowns,…” and these clowns are magnificent. Ayun Halliday, Aidan O’Shea, Regina Strayhorn, and Ben Watts are each original, definable, and endearingly arch.
Clowns have their bits — she (Regina Strayhorn) sings from her toes and plays her weight for fun. He (Ben Watts) smirks, even simpers and uses his lithe physicality to shepherd the group. She (Ayun Halliday) insinuates herself with the audience — she is us then she is them. He (Aidan O’Shea) does a stagey bit, working the Irish/English accent for Old Vic authority but shows a silly side into the bargain. Add to that, they are very much an ensemble; that is, they are working parts of a single entity. Director Augustus Heagerty holds the whip and the chair credentials there.
Here’s the thing, if you hanker for an edgy, “out there” hour in the Village this bizarre little Trumpian gag-fest ( andI do mean gag) is your show!
Faust 3: The Turd Coming, or The Fart of the Deal — By Paul David Young; directed by Augustus Heagerty
WITH: Ayun Halliday, AidanO’Shea, Regina Strayhdorn, Ben Watts — the Ensemble.
Designed by Jarrod Beck, lighting by Kia Rogers, video by Melissa Frizzling, and costumes by Scout Isensee. Garrett Markgraf stage manages. Presented by Skylight Productions at the Meeting Room at Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South, Manhattan. Through June 26. Running time 1 hour.