Matt Johnson’s solo improvisational piece, Tooth and ’Nuckle,
at the very-out-of-the-way and very cool Hanke 2 space (1128 Main St.),
might not be for the faint of heart, even by Fringe standards. The
setup is pretty straightforward. A bare stage sports a phalanx of masks
and puppets fashioned out of grocery bags, and audience members are
invited make a selection for Johnson to use as starting points for
off-the-cuff scenes and soliloquies.
This is tough stuff for even the most accomplished
improvisers, but Johnson seems to have a few artistic axes to grind,
and the material can quickly become aggressive and sexual, or both — at
least on opening night.
To Johnson’s credit, there were a few
insightful moments that were worth being present for, and he has great
singing voice when he decides to deliver his thoughts musically.
It’s hard to comment on the content of the show, as the
staging and premise are intentionally minimal and will change with
every performance. Still, if you are looking for art that feels a
little dangerous and doesn’t really care to play nice, you’re ready for
Matt Johnson and Tooth and ’Nuckle.
(Note: I fully expect that he will rudely mock this review at all future performances.)