Arts & CultureCampus & City

2018 Fringe Review: Dentures

This raucous comedy feels like a 90s sitcom

Uniform Theatre’s production of Dentures, written and directed by Dustyn Tennessen, is a ridiculous comedy filled with laughs and light-hearted chuckles. The setup is simple: two teens are looking for a new rent-free home, and attempt to scam an old-folks home by dressing up as seniors. And of course, hijinks ensue.  

The characters and story are absurd, and the show feels like an old cheesy 90s sitcom. Throughout the show, a laugh track plays, complete with “awws” and “ooohs” during sappy moments, and characters mug for the audience after a joke. The play is also self-aware, with characters pointing out how ridiculous certain gags are.

As the Playhouse is a tight space, the set consists of a simple table. As soon as the plot requires a large spectacle (such as a lawn bowling tournament), it’s smartly all played for laughs. The music swells, lights flash, and everything shifts to slow motion, the bowling ball never moving more than two feet. Despite the small playing space, Tennessen is often able to keep a clean blocking dynamic with his four-person cast, utilizing every corner of the stage.

All the performances are all over-the-top funny, with Michael Vetch shining in particular as lovable doofus Derek. However, I would have liked to see older actors playing elderly folks Abe and Heather, which would have heightened the hilariously gross moments of the show when it plays with the age dynamic of the characters.

Dentures won’t blow you over with cerebral themes or poetic language, but it will give you a fun, wacky, and high energy show basking in its own absurdity and silly jokes.

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