Tuesday, November 09, 2010
A BagelBards Book Review
“Tales Of The Troupe”
By Rob Dinsmoor
Zingology Press, No price listed
Reviewed by Paul Steven Stone
“Tales of the Troupe” is just what its title suggests, a series of stories about a comedy troupe named Chucklehead that performed blackout skits and guerilla theater in New York City towards the end of the 80’s. The author, Rob Dinsmoor, who makes his living these days as a science and medical writer, focused more acutely on the funny bone back then as one of the troupe’s onboard skit writers.
“Tales of the Troupe” offers a wry often bemused look at the struggles (many) and triumphs (few and short lived) that await any group of dedicated performance artists who are long on enthusiasm and short on visible means of support. The stories are connected by theme, time and characters but, alas, not by any sense of a building or compelling narrative. They are often humorous, always well written, but too reflective of life itself, which never fails to end its subplots with a dull thud rather then a resounding chord.
“Tales” has much to offer the self-motivated reader who might be interested in off-broadway theater, or Greenwich Village lifestyles, or the perils and pitfalls of the quest for fame and popular success, or who just might enjoy spending a few hours with an enjoyable group of comics and their cohorts. But fiction readers hungering for more story in their short stories, will find themselves wishing the author had allowed himself a little more literary license in conveying the times and adventures of Chucklehead.
**** Paul Steven Stone is the Creative Director of W.B. Mason and the author of "Or So It Seems."