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THEATER BEAT

'Bubalaires' Odysski' Shows Imagination

March 17, 1995|SCOTT COLLINS

Slavophiles and improv enthusiasts alike should catch "The Bubalaires' Odysski," performed by the former Art Theatre Collective of Czezno-Kocheski at the Globe Playhouse. Czezno-Kocheski is a tiny Eastern European country that exists solely in the imaginations of The Bubalaires, a seven-member comedy troupe. One of the big jokes is that Czezno natives speak in a funny gibberish where many words end in "-ski."

In "Odysski," the Collective's backstage crew--including the janitor, seamstress and accountant--is called upon to perform a burlesque stage version of Homer's "The Odyssey."

But they don't even get to that epic until after "intermittski." The first half is given over to some freewheeling improv, as audience members randomly pick topics from books and The Bubalaires perform highly physical sketches using slide projections, masks and other props.

At first amusing, The Bubalaires' relentlessly silly conceit wears out its welcome sometime before the final curtain. Yet the deft mimicry and boundless good cheer of the cast--John Apicella, Barbara Brown, Billy Butler, Laurie Kilpatrick, Doug Manes, Alice Vaughn and director Robert Watzke--almost compensateski.

* "The Bubalaires' Odysski," Globe Playhouse, 1107 N. Kings Road, West Hollywood. Fridays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Ends April 23. $10 . (213) 969-1363. Running time: 1 hour, 40 minutes.

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