The Post-Neanderthal Diet
Local Arts Reviews
Reviewed by Sarah Hepola, Fri., Feb. 7, 2003
The Post-Neanderthal Diet: Salvation in a Raw Meat SmoothieBlue Theater,
Are you dissatisfied with your life? Are you overweight, gay, or perhaps just a self-hating neurotic? The Rev. Nubby Farnsworth Jr. can help. His Post-Neanderthal Diet -- a shuddering combination of raw meat and a thousand enemas -- has helped people like you find their way. Witness the miracles: a 200-pound woman only a few pounds from her 90-pound goal weight, two tasteful gay men now bedding more birds than Frank Sinatra. And if you act now, all of this can be yours for three easy installments of, what? $20? $100? Your soul?
Hans Frank (of Lonely Highway) wrote this satire of quick-fix culture (with additional material by Katherine Catmull and Ken Webster), and he stars as guru Nubby Farnsworth Jr., a chain-smoking huckster who seems to have taken a swim in an oil leak. Farnsworth's insights are delightfully bizarre: Cigarettes were in the Bible; the air could be rife with genital warts. These and other twisted observations elevate this one-hour comedy from being a mere retread of Saturday Night Live spoofs, although it tips its hat to those classics, like Dan Aykroyd's "Bass-o-Matic," in a scene in which a gag-inducing fruit-and-raw-meat smoothie is blended by Farnsworth's Russian assistant (played by Webster, who also directed). An ever-reliable group of Austin actors give testimonials: David Jones, Joey Hood, Catmull, and Rebecca Robinson -- and Corey Gagne bursts on the scene for the show's veil-ripping and (sloppily) violent denouement.
The Post-Neanderthal Diet is slight but enjoyable, an example of one thing the FronteraFest Long Fringe provides: a perfectly good excuse for talented folk to collaborate.