Best Traveling Show Houston 2001 - Spymonkey's Stiff undertaking, Undertaking at Theater LaB
A tiny European troupe of actors who call themselves Spymonkey leaped into Houston this past spring and landed with a hysterical thump at Theater LaB. Their naughty, limber clowning glittered with Monty Python-style absurdity and Addams Family spookiness, but what else would you expect from a show about the burial business called Stiff undertaking, Undertaking? Under the macabre direction of Cal McCrystal, the wild group of actors, including Toby Park, Aitor Basauri, Stephen Kriess and Petra Massey, took giddy delight in creating a hysterical nightmare about the Graves Funeral Home, where a poor, bereaved husband meets up with the most morbidly funny morticians to come along in quite a while. The foursome of goofy characters created a perfectly awful and wildly funny funereal experience as they hammered out headstones and painted over the "ugily bugily" faces of the unfortunate corpses who ended up on their slabs. Happily, this group only exists on stage. Hopefully, they'll bring their strangeness back to town in the not-so-distant future.