- Last Updated: 12:00 AM, July 7, 2012
- Posted: 10:09 PM, July 6, 2012
TERMINATOR TOO — JUDGMENT PLAY
Santos Party House, 96 Lafayette St.; 866-777-8932. Through Aug. 11.
Not only is “Terminator Too — Judgment Play” a cheap ticket, but that $25 includes a free beer. By all means, cash in: This is the kind of show that’s definitely better with beer goggles. That it’s performed not in an ordinary theater but at the rock club Santos Party House should also be a tip-off.
That plastic poncho they give you by the entrance? Wear it, because it’s going to get messy in there, and every seat’s in the splash zone.
Those who caught 2007’s “Point Break Live!” will be familiar with the concept. Written and directed by Thomas Blake, both shows re-enact the movies they’re based on as faithfully as they can, with virtually no money or special effects.
They also don’t have a star: At each performance, a volunteer pulled from the audience plays the lead, with the help of the cast members and a battery of cue cards.
The upside is that seeing someone try really hard to look badass is inherently funny. The downside is that a hapless dude can drag down the show. Just pray your guy had time to guzzle down his beer.
I lucked out at a recent performance, where out of three candidates, the audience picked a beefy, crew-cut blond guy who looked like a college Republican circa 1963. He was game, did a mean Teutonic accent and proved a great match for the Terminator’s foe, T 2000 — Conor Tansey, who accurately performs the cyborg’s every neck twitch.
This is all done on a teeny-tiny budget, and with a boisterously crass sense of humor — Blake is aware that while stupid is boring, proudly stooopid can be fun.
And “Terminator Too” is often very stooopid.
One of the goofiest scenes is the staging of the movie’s famous battle, between machines and humans, with one plastic skull and extras wielding Super Soakers.
This is typical of a show that’s best when flaunting its cheapness — though Joya Mia Italiano deserves kudos for her sharply funny turn as the teenage John Connor, playing him like a petulant Justin Bieber.
But while adding Facebook to the plot is clever, Blake doesn’t exploit this comic potential. He also tends to run the gags into the ground. In a nod to recent Schwarzenegger events, a foxy Hispanic maid (Yesenia Ayala) holds the volunteer Terminator’s cue cards and guides him through the show, but the joke runs thin pretty fast, as does the free-flowing profanity.
Having another drink at intermission could help you appreciate the rest of this “Judgment Play.”