The News-Press - August 16, 2001

'Dick Piston' leaves audience laughing

COMEDY MASTERPIECE: Bill Taylor plays the title role in "The Further Adventures of Dick Piston, Hotel Detective: Prague-nosis." (Special to The News-Press)


Theatre Conspiracy goes back to camp with its latest show, the world premiere of "The Further Adventures of Dick Piston, Hotel Detective: Prague-nosis."

Tongue planted firmly in cheek, this hilarious sendup of film noir comes off like the warped love child of motion picture punster Mel Brooks and off-Broadway drag diva Charles Busch. (In its infancy, the Conspiracy mounted a memorable version of Busch's camp classic "Vampire Lesbians of Sodom" in a warehouse on Mildred Drive.)
WHAT: The world premiere of the comedy "The Further Adventures of Dick Piston, Hotel Detective: Prague-nosis"
WHO: The show is performed by the Theatre Conspiracy
WHERE: Foulds Theatre, 10091 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers
WHEN: 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday
Tickets: $14 adults, $7 for students
Call: 936-3239

"Prague-nosis" is one of those rare shows I would enthusiastically go back and see again on my own dime.

Why? Jeff Goode's irony-clad script delivers lots of laughs, and the performances all land in the same exaggerated world of parody under the smart direction of David Utz, who also designed the set and lighting.

It's a kooky place where midnight-movie maniacs and "Mystery Science Theater 3000" fans feel at home.

As for the plot, don't try to follow it; I'm still scratching my head over several threads of the deliberately convoluted story.