Victoria Reibel & Erica McClure in The Tiger God
Photo-Gil Reyes/Theatre[502]


Ludlow Quinn presents: The Tiger God

By Brian Walker
Directed by Gil Reyes

Review by Keith Waits

Entire contents copyright © 2014 by Keith Waits. All rights reserved.

Each of the short plays in this series are intended to spin a story inspired by one of the vintage magic posters in The Baron’ Theatre. Brian Walker’s selection is an image for illusionist Horace Goldin that depicts a milky-skinned Edwardian maid being manhandled by a squad of threatening Moors while an effete and ineffectual gentleman of the same pale complexion looks on helplessly. It is a wildly camp representation of outmoded sensibilities with a healthy suggestion of pending sexual violation and virulent racial stereotyping.

Taken literally, it is a minefield of potential offensiveness, but the playwright reverses at least the scabrous sexism of the poster by creating a magical feminist revenge fantasy with a cheeky and playful sense of humor. The Tiger God posits that Horace Goldin (Phil Lynch) was a magician who mistreated his female assistants, the most recent of which, Greta (Victoria Reibel), keeps getting her foot caught in the sawing-a-woman-in-half illusion. A mysterious woman (still a vital motif in this series) named Zada (Erica McClure) appears on the scene to visit the specter of all the put-upon assistants of Goldin’s past.

To say a 15-minute play is fast-paced may go without saying, but it does  and the humor is punchy and sharp. Phil Lynch makes his Horace Goldin a sexist bully devoid of cliché yet worthy of sympathy. Victoria Reibel and Eric McClure provide the yin and yang of developing feminist consciousness in contrasting characters and performances. Eli Keel, as always, introduces the action as Ludlow Quinn.

The Tiger God is deft and surprising entertainment that injects a nice note of cheekiness into this Small Batch Series from Theatre [502].

Ludlow Quinn presents: The Tiger God

August 1, 2014

Next up: The Tale of the Fox and the Chinese Magician by Eli Keel

September 5, 2014, @ 7:00, 8:00, & 9:00pm

Theatre [502]
The Baron’s Theatre
131 East Main Street
Louisville, KY 40202