It’s that time of the year. It’s Christmas, all the theaters have Christmas shows playing, or Christmas-like shows. You can catch A CHRISTMAS CAROL just about everywhere of course, or the Walnut Street is offering the classic THE MUSIC MAN, or try a Christmas Panto at the People’s Light. So many feel-good shows to get one in the holiday spirit, take your pick. I picked DAVE AND AARON GO TO WORK, a show about two guys going to work. Huh? Well, when 1812 Productions presented an original work at Christmas, without a reindeer in sight, I must admit I was intrigued. And I wasn’t disappointed.
Originally produced at the 2003 Philadelphia Fringe Festival, DAVE AND AARON GO TO WORK is the brainchild of Dave Jadico and Aaron Cromie, talented Philadelphia performers that incorporate contemporary theatre with classic Commedia dell’Arte in this silent comedy tale. For the novice, Commedia was an Italian form of popular comedy during the 16th-17th centuries, which utilized stock characters and typical plots in a bawdy and very physical performance style. Those players gave birth to our own days of vaudeville actors and eventually silent films, launching the careers of some infamous early American entertainers like Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Laurel and Hardy, the latter duo of which DAVE AND AARON is clearly a tribute.
Directed by Lee Ann Etzold, this delightful physical comedy tells the story of two roommates who share the tiniest of apartments, and their many attempts at employment. With perfectly timed bits and the clever use of puppetry, the audience whole-heartedly roots for these two lovable characters desperate for work. Their attempts to find jobs bring them to some zany settings including a library, the zoo, the museum, high up on a power line pole, delivering pizzas, selling balloons, and even to the moon!
These masterful comedians hold the audience’s attention with seemingly no effort. The anal retentive Dave, masterfully portrayed by Jadico, and the brilliantly slovenly Aaron (Cromie), mesh perfectly together. Deservedly among the ranks of today’s Chaplins, this comedy team honors classic comedy in a contemporary setting with timeless themes the whole family can appreciate and enjoy.
If you’ve seen Dickens ad nauseum; don’t feel like a grand musical, but would like to enjoy the arts in Philly for this wonderful season, go check out DAVE AND AARON GO TO WORK, they’ll tickle you with their comedy, but warm your heart just in time for the holidays. The show runs 70 minutes without intermission, appropriate for all ages.
DAVE AND AARON GO TO WORK
Directed by Lee Ann Etzold
Created and performed by Dave Jadico and Aaron Cromie
Nov 29 – Dec 31, 2012
At Plays and Players Theatre
1714 Delancey St