The Heavy Metal rock star, a testosterone-flaunting, guitar thrusting, decibel-amplifying peacock, is a sight ripe for ridicule. Bravado and idiocy in unison can be a ludicrous combo to behold. See: Spinal Tap, which masterfully captures the Metal milieu.
Live Evil: Heavy Metal Playground, offers up similar terrain -- but from the confessional first-person voice of merciless self-mockery. A legend in his own mind, Laurent Martini had plans to conquer the world with his virility and awesomeness. It's the dream, no doubt, of many an adolescent boy growing up in the heyday of Motley Crue. But Laurent, impossibly nerdy despite his French extraction, continues to dream the dream all the way into adulthood.
With a blitz of original, dreadful songs, Martini invites his audience to laugh in his face as he chronicles his pursuit of sex, drugs and hard rock stardom.
The show, at the intimate NOHspace Theater, is a play-length spin-off of the Mortified franchise, a monthly mixture of stand-up comedy and reality-based spoken word performance. At its core, it is a reading series of the personal writings of former adolescents. Recalling their misguided youth, brave adults read verbatim from their high school diaries, poetry and letters, revealing the innermost thoughts and desires to a crowd who is both laughing with them and laughing at them.
Such is the M.O. of Live Evil. The show's biggest problem is that, like the dream of Hard Rock fame and fortune, this play goes on far too long. Mortified is a smorgasbord of cringe-worthy storylines and soloists; each event features a variety of performers, sharing their own special corner of adolescent intensity.