A still-timely revisit to TMB’s ‘Tiny Little Town’


When I saw it in a workshop production in July 2022, I immensely enjoyed “Tiny Little Town, A New Musical” by the witty folk who comprise Theatre Movement Bazaar. A thinly veiled allegory to our own society’s serious malaise rendered laughable in the guise of theater, the show gives a reprieve by hinting that our current plunge into political madness may not be for the first time in human history.

In keeping with TMB’s jam of revamping of classical texts into more accessible mime/physical theatre, “Tiny LIttle Town” is an adaptation of a seminal play dating to the 1830s by the Ukrainian playwright, Nikolai Gogal.

Gogal’s “The Inspector General” holds as its comic premise the rapidity with which decorum shakes loose when a small-town mayor, and his cronies and cohorts, receive a letter (remember those?) they are on the cusp of an inspection visit from Central Government.

The fine citizens of this tiny little town lose no time in bringing forth their worst qualities once unleashed — paranoia, fear, corruption, suspicion. All their scheming and machinations get piled onto a random visitor they assume to be the much-feared inspector. This otherwise clueless gentleman accepts the miscalculation with delight. What? An empty shell onto whom leadership qualities are projected? Perish the thought.

The show’s dense text, adapted by TMB founder Richard Alger, is hilariously delivered by a very talented, highly interactive cast. The very good TMB actors put their body into it; a special shout-out goes to Nikhil Pai, as Khlestakov, for his superb language skills and quicksilver acting style so fitting to the farcical nature of this show. Songs by Wes Myers, with lyrics by Alger, punch up the proceedings, and clear-cut movement staging and fun choreography by director and TMB Founder, Tina Kronis, keeps it active and alive. Having seen it once, I would gladly sit through it again.

Much talent on view — and great, relevant material. Recommended.

photocredits: David Haverty, for TMB

TINY LITTLE TOWN | Theatre Movement Bazaar | Broadwater Theatre | thru Feb 18

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