Reservoir Dogs gets a new home

By Andrea MacRae

How they’re going to cut off a man’s ear in front of nearly 100 hundred onlookers is a bit beyond me.

"There will be blood and an ear," comments Noah Unholtz, an artistic associate of Reservoir Dogs, the latest production by local theatre company swingdog based on Quentin Tarantino’s cult classic.

Formed only a year and a half ago, swingdog has already put on three successful shows. Their first production hit the stage last year and sparked off a critically acclaimed and increasingly popular first season. This year, they’re going to kick it off big with a huge film title. It’s a demanding task, but swingdog has added its own raw, edgy slant to a popular Hollywood flick, making it truly something worth watching.

For those few people who missed out on the movie, the play focuses on a professional jewelry heist gone terribly wrong. Five master thieves get together and plot out the perfect robbery, but after a series of mishaps they end up cowering in a warehouse surrounded by cops, disorder and dilemma. The play focuses not only on an exciting story, but also shows the darker side of humanity: betrayal and death.

The play’s characters are rough and crude "misogynist pigs," seen as heroes for many of Tarantino’s diehard fans.

"I am personally disturbed by the hero worship that these characters garner. People think that Mr. Blonde is fantastic. No, he’s not. He’s a psychopath." says Noah. "Our version is just ugly enough, just not-pretty enough, that it’s still slick, but not as slick as Tarantino’s [version]. There is less of a chance of putting these guys on a pedestal."

The movie is primarily set in a warehouse but has a few outdoor scenes that were difficult to transfer to stage, especially on a limited budget. Through the use of multi-media technologies, the swingdog crew was able to bring the outside inside and even re-enact the burglary.

The play will be shown in a large apartment, a venue which suits it to a tee. In the popular amateur theatre spot, the audience can be seated as close as four feet from the action. They will become more than audience–they will be psychologically sucked up into the action.

Reservoir Dogs is a fantastic, sadistic and fun play, but not for the faint of heart. It is a locally-adapted and acted production that captures the best of the Hollywood film but adds its own edge. It incorporates professional local talent with a big name film, providing a night to remember for the audience.

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