Photo: Ben Arons

Bess Wohl‘s SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS has moved from Ars Nova to the Linney Courtyard Theatre at the Signature Center, mainly because it received good reviews and great word of mouth.  Taking place at a silent, spiritual retreat, this play is at least 50% pantomime and 90% played for laughs.  It tells the story of a group of six varied characters,  looking for a way out of their personal torment through enlightenment.  While watching the show, I had a wonderful time; beautifully directed by Rachel Chavkin, it is an enticing theatrical experience, I laughed heartily and it was entertaining, but the moment the show was over, I realized that every single laugh was at someone’s expense and usually at their misery. I was upset that I laughed mindlessly at their pain and that this is what our violence-inured society has come to; Schadenfreude antics. Is this really the type of humor we want to exalt?

SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS is like a one-night stand; at the time you think it’s great, but the moment it’s over, you feel cheap and ashamed.

Let Laura read this to you:


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