Dance/theatre show set in a locker room is less than the sum of its muscled, toned parts
UN POYO ROJO by Luciano Rosso, Nicolás Poggi, Alfonso Barón, Hermes Gaido (Canadian Stage). At the Berkeley Street Theatre (26 Berkeley). Runs to October 11. $49-$79. 416-368-3110, canadianstage.com. See listing. Rating: NN
Un Poyo Rojo is a slight physical theatre piece – an exercise, really – from Argentina padded out to 60 drawn-out minutes.
Luciano Rosso and Nicolás Poggi play two unnamed men in a gym who start out exercising but end up competing for the spotlight – and each other’s attention. A mix of dance, theatre, sports and the particular drama that often goes on in men’s locker rooms, the show is less than the sum of its muscled, toned parts.
Of the two, Rosso is the more elegant mover, morphing from ballet dancer to campy runway model to get Poggi’s attention. Poggi, who excels at acrobatics, seems disinterested, and then annoyed, as his space gets more and more compromised.
You’d think that, in 2019, the idea of a man’s face suddenly planted in front of another man’s crotch wouldn’t be used for easy laughs, but it is, again and again, and the repetitiveness borders on harassment.
One sequence in the middle of the piece shows some imagination. The two men, physically connected in a way that shouldn’t be spoiled, improvise to whatever’s on the radio (each performance is different). But a follow-up scene involving half a pack of cigarettes merely seems like a party trick.