This Loot is Lacking in the Bonkers Department

After what felt like a sizable amount of time - but was probably only like 15 or 20 minutes - Loot, which opened last week at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, turns the dials up to an 11.

It was when Hal and Dennis - whom just robbed a bank the night before - need to move their money and resorted to Hal's mother's coffin. Needing more space, they take Hal's mother and try jamming her into the nearby wardrobe, resulting in a lot of banging and panicking and flailing limbs.

Try as you might to resist, but that visual is ridiculous.

The rest of Loot does not match that one laugh-out-loud moment minute, but it is refreshing to see that Joe Orton's British farce hold up so well. The remarks against religion and corrupt police officers have not lost their bluster, even though they were written almost five decades ago.

The quality of the original writing makes up for some uneven performances. Rocco Sisto's sketchy detective is appropriately menacing, but all of his scenery-chewing was not high-camp enough nor did it garner consistent laughter. Rebecca Brooksher, as the lone female of the ensemble, playing the hospice worker with a dubious, "is she or isn't she" past, gave probably the best performance of the lot, even though it was nothing to write home about.

Jesse Berger was right to let the book do the heavy-lifting, but his direction was faulty...a little too much time between laughs and the show can turn dull real fast. Plot and pacing was never Loot's strong points, but it is best when the show goes full-force ahead with its bollicks nonsense and never lets the audience catch their breath before another one-liner (or dead body appearance) brings the house down. There are enough chuckles to delight, but Loot could - and should - be so much more bonkersauce.

Ticket provided by the production

Photo Credit: Rahav Seghev/Photopress.com

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