No Dice

In an age when Paul Blart: Mall Cop is blurbed as “The Funniest Movie of the Year,” you have reason to be skeptical when I say that No Dice is unlike anything you have ever experienced in a theater—or anywhere, for that matter. But it is. The show is a four-hour reenactment of transcribed telephone conversations, performed in style suggesting bad Midwestern dinner theater, using comedy, dance, and music. Yet even that description would be like calling The Godfather just another movie about the mafia. No Dice was created by the Nature Theater of Oklahoma, one of New York City’s hottest avant-garde theater groups. (Its current show has one man performing Rambo: First Blood in its entirety onstage. Awesome.) Here, No Dice will be staged through Sunday in a half-finished office building on Eastlake; and the ticket includes a sack dinner prepared by the artists. When I saw the show in New York, an empty warehouse became a sort of playground for overgrown hipsters (including artistic directors/performers Pavol Liska and Kelly Copper). No Dice is joyful and childlike at one moment, then unsettling and sinister the next. There is no plot. Mundane office tasks are performed. Mel Gibson’s take on Hamlet is discussed. And, believe it or not, the time really does fly by. (There’s a 30-minute intermission, too.) If tickets for the New York run hadn’t been so hard to come by, I would’ve gone two or three more times. At just $6 an hour, it’s the best entertainment deal in town. FRANK PAIVA

March 5-8, 7 p.m., 2009

 
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