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Larry Litt

"The Cody Rivers Show"

"The Cody Rivers Show"
Theater UNDER St. Marks
94 St. Marks Place
New York NY
Reviewed April 10, 2009

Two guys prance out from behind closed doors dressed as either Olympic weight lifters or old fashioned bathing suit models. Both are crowned
with boxing ear guards. Their look shocks and amuses their audience from the moment they run onstage exhibiting faux ballet poses instead of swinging their fists, greeting each other as long lost friends. For an hour they play at clowning and gymnastics, but it's highly skilled, thoughtful nonsense that turns language and movement on its head. Much like watching trained seals at the zoo, The Cody Rivers Show duo are happy to be in front of an audience. Their zeal is infectious.

At first I thought Mike Mathieu and Andrew Connor were commenting on gay marriage as the fight over civil rights nears the ‘gathering storm’ of protest. They exchanged gazes in total synchronicity with their body language. Timing and movement as delicate and erotic as a ritual mating dance. But they talk like men in a barber shop.

Then I thought they were frustrated with language altogether as their storytelling content merged into common gossip. But no. So I continued to think as they continued to arouse new thoughts. Eventually I realized they were working my mind into a mass of fertile mulch from which a seed of new theatrical style will sprout. Then again, perhaps it was all these.

By the end of The Cody Rivers Show I knew that I had seen a mysterious, odd, fun, challenging and deeply disturbing performance by two very
creative and innovative entertainers. The closest experience to it would be seeing ‘Waiting for Godot’ performed by Chinese acrobats. No wonder they have an international cult following among audiences and theater professionals alike.

Peace and Pleasure,
Larry Litt
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