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Wednesday, Apr 9 2008
It's hard to conceive of an action flick more inane or entertaining than Kathryn Bigelow's 1991 cult sensation, Point Break. It ranks high on the beefcake meter, and with its homoerotic subtext and efficiently paced action, you can view it as either a cinematic train wreck or a pulp fiction magnum opus. A new dramatic adaptation of the movie, Point Break Live!, riffs on all the blockbustery fracas, staying astonishingly faithful to the original script and its concomitant crests and troughs. The story -- in case you missed the plot points amid all the rippling muscles -- centers on a quarterback-turned-FBI agent, Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves), who goes undercover to investigate a string of bank robberies committed by a syndicate known as the Ex-Presidents, led by blissed-out surfer swami Bodhi (Patrick Swayze). After receiving precious koans from Bodhi on surfing, "that place where you lose yourself and find yourself," Johnny gets seduced by the adrenaline of the affable bandits' lifestyle, placing him in direct conflict with his crime-busting cohorts. The parody, which premiered in Seattle in 2003, gets its surf on and reprises the adrenaline-shot mise-en-scene of the movie with the help of wind machines, squirt guns, stunt doubles, and heaps of overacting. The kicker? The role of Johnny Utah is hand-picked from the audience via a handy "applause-o-meter" and gets by on cue cards, extempore. Don't let stage fright be too much of a hindrance. Looking alive, after all, might lose you a plum gig, considering the role's precursor.
Fridays, Saturdays, 7:30 & 10 p.m. Starts: April 11. Continues through June 21, 2008

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Nirmala Nataraj


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