Sometimes it’s best to keep things simple. At the end of the Neo-Futurists’ newest show, “Windmilled: Tilting at Don Quixote, ” writer-performer Sharon Greene picks up an old-fashioned electric fan and points it at a wall of faded seventies-era feel-good posters of kittens and couples strolling down the beach. The posters ripple gently in the breeze and there is true poetry in the moment—a quietly, dreamy sort of whimsy that is beautiful despite its self-consciousness. But the production as a whole—conceived and directed by Greene, who performs alongside writers Shawn Huelle and Jay Torrence—feels like a forced (rather than organic) riff on the Cervantes novel. Essentially a series of bits and pointless tasks, the show is slow going at first, but does gain some momentum when Huelle launches into the story of his Don Quixote-Sancho Panza-like road trip to the Artic Ocean. Huelle is an understated writer with a wry appreciation for the absurd—both sublime and funny as he silently flashes cue cards as a preface to his tale—and he is an extremely likable performer. Greene and the mostly silent Torrence don’t fare as well and have trouble clearly communicating whatever it is they are trying to get across. But you’ve got to appreciate Greene’s taste in music—the tiny voices singing “All You Need Is Love” from the “Beatles Songs for Kids” album—and the audacity with which the trio puts a living goldfish in harm’s way, depositing the little guy in a soggy mess on the floor. The fish flops around, as fish out of water are wont to do, and the entire audience leans forward in complete bafflement. I will not reveal the reason behind this experiment, but rest assured the fish was swimming happily in his bowl by the show’s end. (Nina Metz)
This production is now closed.