Marvy Mojo

MOJO by Jez Butterworth, directed by Daryl Cloran, with Damien Atkins, Christopher Morris, Michel Protti, Mike Shara, Dylan Trowbridge and.


MOJO by Jez Butterworth, directed by Daryl Cloran, with Damien Atkins, Christopher Morris, Michel Protti, Mike Shara, Dylan Trowbridge and Blair Williams. Presented by Theatrefront at the Berkeley Street Theatre (26 Berkeley). Runs to March 23, Monday-Saturday 8 pm, matinees Wednesday and Saturday 2 pm. $20, stu/srs/Equity $16, Monday pwyc. 416-368-3110. Rating: NNNN

MOJO by Jez Butterworth, directed by Daryl Cloran, with Damien Atkins, Christopher Morris, Michel Protti, Mike Shara, Dylan Trowbridge and Blair Williams. Presented by Theatrefront at the Berkeley Street Theatre (26 Berkeley). Runs to March 23, Monday-Saturday 8 pm, matinees Wednesday and Saturday 2 pm. $20, stu/srs/Equity $16, Monday pwyc. 416-368-3110. Rating: NNNN

Rating: NNNN

you won’t catch a more inept group of minor hoods — or a more entertaining sextet — than the six men who connive against each other in Jez Butterworth’s Mojo. When a rival gang kidnaps up-and-coming musical sensation Silver Johnny (Michel Protti), the other five plot to save their own skins and regain a piece of the action.Director Daryl Cloran plays superbly with the rhythms of this award-winning script set in a 50s London bar, speeding up the dialogue or slowing it down to splendid effect. The first half’s surreal quality (most of the characters are high on something) is emphasized by Lorenzo Savoini’s forced-perspective set, which includes an Alice-in-Wonderland door at the back. One pill makes you larger indeed.

The admirable cast captures the work’s dark, nasty comedy, both in characterization and in ensemble work. Christopher Morris and Dylan Trowbridge make a great conjoined twins act, linked not at the hip but in terms of their speech, their needs and their use of uppers, while Damien Atkins gives a nerdy twist to the guy lowest on the food chain.

Blair Williams brings a coolness to a suited lieutenant with hidden motives, and Mike Shara as the son of an offed gang leader uses a low-key, childlike facade to hide a sharp mind.

What the production doesn’t quite catch is a definitive note of menace, a last turn of the fear screw to make these guys really dangerous, both to themselves and to each other.

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