Tabula rasa

By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  June 25, 2008

The comic hijinks play out on yet another gorgeous and smartly-conceived Christopher Price set. This one is a cheerily vertiginous funhouse: Fuddy’s players traverse a series of raked quadrilateral platforms of various heights and slopes, often spotted in bright pop-art hues of lilac, magenta, and neon yellow (the great lighting is by Jeff Provencher). The platforms don’t quite meet at their junctures, so actors frequently get caught avowing this or that from stances that straddle literal — as well as figurative — cracks in the foundation. Behind Gertie’s minimalist kitchen, upstage, there reels a picket fence gone gleefully Expressionist. And for the car-ride scenes (which are treated to delicious sound design by Greg Copeland) Price provides seats and a steering wheel, which are bolted to a set piece that slides down a raked platform and locks into place with a satisfying click.

The ride Fuddy Meers takes us on is absurdist, willfully profane, and satisfied with simple screwball entertainment as its raison d’être. And although, at times, an excess of “fucking” this and “fucking” that comes off as a comic crutch (as do, after a while, the verbal gimmicks) the unsubtle Fuddy is unquestionably entertaining. Between its gibberish, its blithe obscenity, and its brazen plot twists, City Theater’s Fuddy Meers abducts us somewhere zanily memorable.

Megan Grumbling can be reached

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