CRVPT (CONNECTICUT RIVER VALLEY POETS THEATRE)
CRVPT (Connecticut River Valley Poets Theatre)
As more and more mainstream films open on Broadway (“Rocky,” “Shrek,” et al), CRVPT answers with a verbatim theatre production of “FAST FIVE,” the fifth installment of The Fast and the Furious franchise, calling attention to the gap between blockbuster and underground stage, between massive budget and zero budget. A movie about cars staged by people who don’t own cars. A script engineered for mass teenage boy appeal with Vin Diesel cast as a woman. Beefcake stars chased by ballerina cops.
“FAST FIVE” holds a mirror to the misogyny and sleek sheen of action culture. Paul Walker, Ludacris, The Rock, and Tyrese played by poets and fiction writers: actors who never disappear into their roles, a simultaneity of male action star body and female poet body. The dancing and fight sequences fail to be seamless, a conscious amateurism that highlights the underlying humanity of the movie version is concealed beneath thumping music, sheen, and melodrama. CRVPT’s version places equal burden on the critical apparatus surrounding Hollywood and parades a cast of critics to share their equally ludicrous opinions about the film. Action is not inherently evil. Genre is not the culprit. The show champions the lovable chase scenes and clunky dialogue while lampooning critics’ condescension, prudishness and indifferent shrugs. The Hollywood system demonstrates one way to be Fast and Furious; CRVPT’s performance shows another.