Los Angeles Theater Review: VIOLATORS WILL BE VIOLATED (Circle X at Atwater Village Theatre)

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by Tony Frankel on February 25, 2011

in Theater-Los Angeles

SCAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF

Casey Smith is an unedited, unexpurgated, nasty and playful little boy who delights in farting, defecating, vomiting and bouncing around the stage with so much hyperactive energy that you may be tempted to toss him some Ritalin and Handy-Wipes. Casey Smith is not a character in a play; this is Casey Smith the actor who flails, flops and flounders in a nearly wordless, solo performance art piece, entitled Violators Will Be Violated. In less than an hour, he pushes the limits of vulgarity, immaturity and mischievousness – with hysterical and surprisingly charming results. In eighteen short pieces, Smith mimes everything from a sick ballerina who blows chunks in between grand jetés, to a coquettish teen slut who flirts with an audience member while she disrobes and tweaks her nipples.

There are no props, no sets, and no special effects – which is not to say that we don’t imagine the squirting blood or the disappearance of his fingers up his bum. But Mr. Smith is not trying to shock us as much as he is invested in keeping his inner imp alive; the adult Mr. Smith is so adorable as a physical storyteller that the “ick” factor is kept to a minimum, regardless of the moans and groans which emanated from the Atwater Village Theatre. Because Smith mimes his gross-out antics (imperfectly, I might add, as with a child who wishes to be Marcel Marceau), you may perhaps experience a slight but joyous nausea – but nothing like the stomach-turning film clip of Divine squishing poodle crap through her teeth in Pink Flamingos. Violators is a celebration of boyish imagination, delivered with disarming innocence and stamina by its creator. Director Jennifer A. Skinner makes sure that Smith utilizes the entire theater effectively, but all of the scatological skits can become a bit wearisome. The only thing missing to break up the relentless grossfest was a glimpse into the other side of this little boy – the impudent brat who desperately longs to be heard, but suffers from loneliness: perhaps his outlandish antics alienated those whose attention he needs so desperately. Even one poignant segment that elicits our sympathy would round-out what is otherwise a very entertaining piece of sh…sheer delight.

photo by Dustin Hughes

Violators Will Be Violated
Circle X Theatre Company
Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave.
ends on March 19, 2011
for tickets, visit Circle X

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