You know that fine line between completely mporonic and extremely clever? No? That’s probably because there really isn’t any such magical place.
“The Explorers Club,” at MTC’s Stage 1 at City Center, through July 21st, has a moment or two of cute absurdity. Unlike Nell Benjamin’s “Legally Blonde” in which the vapid and beautiful sorority girl finds her inner Harvard, the idiotic scientists in “The Explorers Club” mostly find no interior genius.
There is fine slapstick in a bar scene as Luigi (Carson Elrod) “delivers” drinks. The other highpoint is an “HMS Pinafore” bit with Harry Percy (David Furr) in full regalia. Everything else just seems to stoop.Phyllida Spotte-Hume (Jennifer Westfeldt) is proposed for membership in the eponymous club by her admirer, Lucius Fretway (Lorenzo Pisoni) for her accomplishments as a scientist. She has discovered a lost city and brought back one of its “savages,” the aforementioned Luigi.
Westfeldt gets to play her twin, Countess Glamorgan, and wear lots of very cool costumes, by Anita Yavich, who has dressed the men beautifully as well. The set is also quite charmingly designed by Donyale Werle. Professors Cope (Brian Avers) and Walling (Stephen Boyer) are the suppressed gay-boy scientists, one who studies snakes and the other mice, “yet we are still friends.” More low-lying fruit is picked by John McMartin as Professor Sloane, the Biblical literalist scientist. Beebe (Arnie Burton) creates a diversion when he shows up as a warrior monk convert.
Alas,“The Exploers Club” is no smarter than its lowest common denominator, which might just be Harry Percy who is determined to find the “east pole.”
For more information please visit http://theexplorersclubplay.com/