Dizzy Miss Lizzy presents Finn McCool

Laura Keena, John Robert Keena (Finn McCool) & Maria Egler Mike Kozemchak & Steve McWilliams in background)
Photos by Kip Pierson Photography

Dizzy Miss Lizzy’s Roadside Review doesn’t call Finn McCool a rock opera but I’m prepared to do so. I suspect they’ll cut me some slack since I’ll also say it’s a fun production that’s a bargain at $20 a seat and well worth your time.

This isn’t a new show – Dizzy Miss Lizzy’s Roadside Review (can I call y’all DMRR? Thanks) first put on this show in last year’s Fringe. A modern interpretation of the Irish legend of Fionn mac Cumhaill, Finn McCool imagines what you’d get if all the players in a classic hero’s journey tale were musical performers and putting on a show from beyond the grave. It works well, as do most of the modifications DMRR made, and it’s a testament to the skill of the playwright and the performers that it’s never confusing when the performance shifts from being an after-the-fact retelling and a portrayal of events supposedly occurring in the present.

Steve McWilliams & John Robert Keena (Finn McCool)
Photos by Kip Pierson Photography

I found the production to drag slightly in the middle but any restlessness I felt was occupied by wondering if one of the cast members was going to slip and break something on the sketchy mobile stage platform they kept moving around. The movement was blocked well and never distracting but I wonder if giving some folks 4 additional inches of height was worth the risk the badly-locking roll-stop. Ditch it, DMRR – your folks have enough presence and your stage design works well enough to provide focus, you don’t need this distracting prop.

Debra Buonaccorsi & Steve McWilliams
Photos by Kip Pierson Photography

That’s the only trivial complaint I have beyond the less-than-perfect sound quality – somewhat of an inevitable issue, given that they’re using the rehearsal space in Woolly Mammoth Theater. But it’s rock and roll, baby – bringing the energy and the truth is way more important than a little reverb. DMRR does that in spades, and the Finn McCool has an added bonus bit of joy when you go home afterward and find out that some of the wackiest bits they present are in the original legend and not made up for the modern audience. Salmon of Knowledge indeed.

Joe Campbell would be proud of the way DMRR took the myth and made it their own. Joe Cocker would be proud of the guitar work. DMRR should just be proud of moving a fun Fringe piece to a larger audience in a place with better climate control.

Finn McCool runs through March 20th with Mondays and Tuesdays off to allow their livers to rest. If you go, they’re downstairs in Woolly Mammoth’s rehearsal space and handling their own tickets – if you ask at Woolly’s counter they’ll just tiredly point you down the stairs to where Dizzy Miss Lizzy’s Roadside Review is working the table themselves… trust me. Either buy at the door or visit brownpapertickets.com. Or I hear you can use your smartphone to talk to people too (weird!), in which case call 800-838-3006.

Woolly Mammoth Theatre Melton Rehearsal Hall
641 D. Street NW.
Washington, DC 20004

updated 1:26pm: Apparently MY liver and brain need to recover; thanks for the catch, Foggy – all that Irish and I felt I needed to add my own by turning Miss into Mc. Tsk, sorry.

Well I used to say something in my profile about not quite being a “tinker, tailor, soldier, or spy” but Tom stole that for our about us page, so I guess I’ll have to find another way to express that I am a man of many interests.

Hmm, guess I just did.

My tastes run the gamut from sophomoric to Shakespeare and in my “professional” life I’ve sold things, served beer, written software, and carried heavy objects… sometimes at the same place. It’s that range of loves and activities that makes it so easy for me to love DC – we’ve got it all.


2 thoughts on “Dizzy Miss Lizzy presents Finn McCool

  1. Sounds like it might be an interesting evening’s entertainment – Rock ‘n Roll and Irish myths. Two great tastes that taste great together. Also, I should point out, it’s Dizzy Miss Lizzie’s Roadside Revue, not McLizzie’s.

  2. Thanks Foggy, I dunno what was going through my wee brain when I made that subconscious edit. Fixed now!