Theatre Review: 'Hard Core Logo: LIVE'

Although staging a punk rock show for a seated theatre audience may run contrary to the notion of punk, Hard Core Logo: LIVE breaks through its restraints and is just as rocking as the real thing.  Naturally the play is going to be compared against Bruce McDonald’s film, but Michael Scholar Jr.’s adaptation differentiates itself in important ways from the film.

Joe “Shithead” Keithley’s music, simply put, is incredible. It runs a gamut of punk genres and each of the eleven songs are engaging and memorable, most notably the catchy and hook-heavy “Who the Hell Do You Think You Are?” Oxenberger and Pipefitter, the secondary rhythm section, initially feel a bit comically over-the-top, but their eccentricities and quirks endear themselves to the audience.

Certain expository monologues fall flat, most notably a diatribe by Bucky Haight, and a few flubbed lines and  technical difficulties broke the fourth wall, but the audience played along.  They seemed appreciative of the effort of staging a show where live instruments are as much a part of the set dressing as the moving seats of the road van.

There are many uproarious laughs at the self-conscious staging choices, including an appearance by a rather static “child actor,” and the actors walk a thin line with the props, but manage to make them work effectively.  Ultimately, this is a story about Joe Dick and Billy Tallent, and Scholar, as Dick, runs away with the show: he looks like he was born to play the part. He is utterly convincing, as he marries his acting with his frontman persona and makes the role his own.

Four out of five stars.

more in Theatre Review     |     posted Nov 19th, 2010 at 10:43pm     

Comments: 1

liptonstudio wrote:

How could you get it so wrong?
Well, of course, we were probably there on different dates.

Johnston's 'Bucky' was the best character portrayal of the play.

Scholar did certainly not 'run away', but rather, was considerably 'choreographed'.

Only a couple stars. They didn't get there. Way too clean and not deep enough. Despite a valiant effort.

What are the 'important ways' that this stage version differentiates itself from McDonald's adaptation of Turner's novel? Sorry, I didn't catch that in the body of your article. You state it but don't explain it. Why was a stage version of Hard Core Logo necessary or relevant?


on Nov 28th, 2010 at 10:53pm Report Abuse

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