Dr. Svetlana San Diego legend Thom Vegh returns to the stage with Dr. Svetlana’s Public & Private Health Lecture Demonstration at the Rosewood Five until July 2. Described as “in the tradition of Theatre of the Ridiculous,” this show is amusingly that: ridiculous.
Rosewood Five,. 1150 Seventh Avenue (basement), downtown
The audience enters to a medical lecture taking place by Dr. Svetlana Titania Boom de Eva. The pseudo-doctor offers her “medical” opinion to members of the audience for a small fee. Everyone receives a badge with a pre-assigned name on it. Throughout the show, the doctor calls on people by their assigned names, either reading questions or asking for their assistance. Perhaps this is a nerve-wracking thought for shy people, but for those who are game it’s an entertaining theatrical experience.
At certain moments we catch glimpses into the doctor’s past with her mentor and admiration for Trotsky, which result in fits of anger and sexual desire. Vegh maintains Dr. Svetlana’s thick Eastern European accent the entire time, and his performance is less drag show, more exercise in character acting and social experiment.
At times the show seems to have little if no point to it, but the performance by Vegh as Dr. Svetlana is charming, funny, and makes the show worth seeing. The show will be different each time, based on audience responses. So it will only get better with age under the skilled guidance of Vegh.
Rosewood Five Studios, 1150 Seventh Avenue (basement), downtown. $10.00
The Hamlet Comedy Hour The Naked Shakespeare Company advertises itself as having produced “full-length Shakespearean productions for over twenty-five years.” That is sad, because The Hamlet Comedy Hour at Diversionary shows that this company has learned nothing about Shakespeare in all that time.
Apparently the company has tried to cut Shakespeare’s Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark down to a one-hour version that retains elements of humor, or at least moments that they interpret to be humorous. The company, however, not only does not understand Shakespeare, they do not understand comedy. The actors have no idea what they are doing in this show, what is happening to their characters, or seemingly even what is going on in the play. To describe this production as “high school” or “amateur” would be an insult to high schools and amateurs everywhere. The best actor in this production is a sock puppet playing Horatio, and even he isn’t funny.
If you have the choice of seeing this show for $10 or doing anything else with that money, do anything else. Heck, you might want to consider donating it to the Naked Shakespeare Company for lessons in Acting, Shakespeare, Comedy, Fencing, Speaking, Being Human...everything they failed at in this production.