The Crook: A Revival

Contemporary ensemble theatre work by Empire of Teeth
Written and directed by Michael Sakamoto and Rochelle Fabb
Choreographed by Michael Sakamoto
Soundscore by Bob Bellerue
Set design and lighting by Jeff Cain
Performed by Michael Morrissey, Joe Seely, Lauren Mace, Rochelle Fabb, and Michael Sakamoto

Work-in-progress 2005 (Los Angeles Theatre Center)

Premiere 2006 (Track 16 Gallery)

“Undeniably daring…like a goblin in a playpen. Ferocious post modernists Michael Sakamoto, Rochelle Fabb and their Empire of Teeth crew throw themselves into this ambitious, still coagulating ritual installation… passages of Richard Foreman-worthy abstraction gave way to stretches of pure oddity. Fans of deconstruction should check it out, for there’s surely nothing quite like it.” – Los Angeles Times

“The Crook is an effective examination of the influence celebrity and titillation have over the viewing public…Fabb and Sakamoto have sharply crafted a barrage of memorable living artworks- with much assistance from sound artist Bob Bellerue – that are intriguing and amusing.” – BackStage West

Generally considered the first Broadway musical, “The Black Crook” (1866) is a combination of a Faustian folk tale and burlesque-style song and dance numbers that ran over five hours and played across the continent for 30 years, setting the formula for American blockbuster stage shows. Utilizing elements of theater, dance, performance art, and low-tech lighting and sound, “The Crook: A Revival” deconstructs scenes and characters from the original show in a postmodern comment on politics, culture wars, and theatre itself. The mass hysteria of Broadway theater and Revival preachers collide with the icy dehumanization of self-referential, postmodern culture, where everyone is a “crook.”

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