Despite the construction being done to the Black Box Theater, the SLCC’s Department of Performing Arts is putting on the very entertaining production entitled Keep Your Pantheon, an “American Burlesque” style play written by David Mamet.
Keep Your Pantheon is an absolute riot. Whoever thought that ancient Rome wasn’t entertaining and funny was completely wrong. What makes this play so entertaining is the fact that it is really just a four-act long gay-racist-fart joke.
The play is about two washed-up actors Strabo and Khuntus, played by Tim Maness and Terence Johnson, and their young, attractive and often almost shirtless apprentice Philius (Chadron Martineau).
Early on in the play it becomes quite obvious that the only reason Strabo keeps Philius around is because he wants to “bed” him, as does quite a few other characters. Phililus’ over exaggerated acting skills, or lack thereof, is hysterical.
The two actors and their apprentice are bombarded in their home by the beggar Ramus Gasus (Bruce Browns), who has a bad problem with “gasus” and is always asking for wine or trying to sell them his “charms.” Ramus tells the troupe of his adventures in the “Tenth African Legion,” a group of skilled Roman warriors, but of course they scoff at him and try to get him to leave.
In the second act, the troupe gets into a bit of trouble when they get lost on their way to a nobles house to entertain party guests. Turns out, the house directly across the street is the house of the “Tenth African Legion,” who just recently disgraced Rome by losing an epic battle.
Thinking that he entered the correct party, Strabo begins making jokes about the warriors’ recent defeat and other things the “Tenth African Legion” finds offensive. The three men are arrested by the busty warriors, Tribune Bustus (Sahna Foley) and Tribune Tittus (Liz Ferguson), and thrown in the dungeon.
Without giving too much more away about the story, the gang ends up having to don white, pointed hoods because they are supposed to be beheaded in an attempt to appease Caesar. Khuntus, a black man, looks at the hoods with a confused look and says something like, “Now this doesn’t seem right.”
Don’t worry…they manage to narrowly escape death in an ironic turn of events that has them both relieved and mad at the same time.
A host of entertaining characters and creative costumes as well as a funny script and mismatched plot line make this play well worth the drive back to campus.
Keep Your Pantheon opened the first week of November and will continue shows until the end of this week from Nov. 17 to 20. The play will be hosted at the South City Campus in the choir room. Curtain call is at 7:30 p.m. and it is recommended to call in advance to reserve seating, as it is very limited. Students get in free with a valid OneCard and tickets are $10 for the public. This play does contain adult material and may not be suitable for children.