February 1, 2013

“I’m sorry, I don’t understand the question.” So spoke Siri, her electronic voice piercing the benumbed hush filling the Connelly Theater during the opening-night performance of the much un-anticipated revival of Arthur Bicknell’s “Moose Murders.” Afterward, staring in stupefaction at the stage, I began to wonder what question the audience member behind me might have posed of Siri, the iPhone’s digital concierge, as the gyrations of this notorious play’s plot reeled along interminably. “Where is the nearest exit?” “What have I done to deserve this?” “Who was the darn fool who invented theater, anyway?” “Why was I born?” “Why am I living?” The most pertinent question, of course, is what possessed the Beautiful Soup Theater Collective to revive Mr. Bicknell’s comedy-mystery, which closed on the night it opened on Broadway in 1983. The answer to that is obvious: infamy is fame of a kind, after all, and “Moose Murders” tap-danced its way into a dubious theatrical immortality shortly after its quick immolation.