Mario Correa's "Tail! Spin!" sports one of my favorite titles in quite a while. The artfully arranged text is taken verbatim from the comments of Sen. Larry Craig, Rep. Mark Foley, Gov. Mark Sanford, and Rep. Anthony Weiner as each tried to deal with the consequences of a sex scandal. The 75-minute show is smart and funny but not particularly insightful. It's a bit like shooting fish in a barrel.
Director Dan Knechtges keeps the top-flight cast—Rachel Dratch, Sean Dugan, Dan Hodapp, Mo Rocca, and Nate Smith—under tight control, always on the edge of excess but never going overboard. Dugan waves Craig's low-pitched voice like a flag of heterosexuality and is a hoot as Wolf Blitzer. Hodapp's Foley is a riot getting all hot and bothered while IMing teenage male pages. Smith shines with vapid self-regard as Wiener. Rocca dives into Sanford's needy emotionality and frolics entertainingly. Best of all is Dratch, who gets to play all the female characters and ends with a wicked Barbara Walters.
I had a high old time watching "Tail! Spin!" and having my prejudices reinforced. Still, it's constructed entirely of easy cynicism, something that's not too useful in these deeply troubled days of the republic.
Presented by Zav Productions and Marianne Mills as part of the New York International Fringe Festival at the Kraine Theater, 85 E. Fourth St., NYC. Aug. 11Ð16. Remaining performances: Sun., Aug. 12, 7 p.m.; Mon. Aug. 13, 8 p.m.; Wed., Aug. 15, 7 p.m.; Thu., Aug. 16, 10:30 p.m. (866) 468-7619 or www.fringenyc.org. Casting by Telsey + Company.