Dubbed “A Silent Film On Stage” by writer/director Matt Lyle, “The Better Doctor” seamlessly mixes recent healthcare reform headlines with silent-era film sensibilities for impressively entertaining results. The story revolves around a plucky do-gooder named Velma, played with mettle and moxie by Kim Lyle, as she works with a blundering hospital intern, the goofily charming (and afro-tastic) Samuel Zelitch, to procure medical aid for two ailing street urchins. As the spunky duo cross paths with a unibrowed orderly (Jack Birdwell), a mad pharmacist (Erin Orr), and a fancy-dancing attorney (Mike Brunlieb), slapstick comedic gags are merrily executed with precision at every turn. Throughout the show’s sixty-minute running time, live music (keyboard and percussion) keeps the action flying, with occasional dips into recognizable tunes (“Ain’t Misbehavin’,” “Eye of the Tiger” and the theme from “Mission Impossible” to name a few) backing up especially memorable moments. “The Better Doctor” is muckraking comedy theater at its finest and proof that a show where no one on stage speaks a single word can still have a lot to say. (Zach Freeman)
“The Better Doctor” plays at Prop Thtr, 3504 North Elston, silenttheatre.com, through June 26.