One thing is certain: the World/Inferno Friendship Society can
really rock. But as far as a theatrical offering goes, the group's
"Addicted to Bad ideas: Peter Lorre's 20th Century" is not particularly theatrical. That doesn't mean the band doesn't provide a totally entertaining evening of entertainment while
sort of following the life of the actor Peter Lorre, who was an acclaimed actor in Germany before coming to the U.S. where he appeared in many acclaimed (as well as really bad) movies.
It's hard from this show to get much of a sense of Lorre's life. Singer Jack Terricloth does a fine job of sort-of playing the actor down to the weird accent and mannerisms. The show very effectively uses clips from Lorre movies, which have been manipulated, but not too much, which are shows on a triple screen above the stage. These screens are also used to project live video of the band members. A couple of the players also take on brief roles of people in Lorre's life, but there's no real attempt to "act" and one points out how absurd it is that he's playing a role in a play when he's just a rock musician.
The largest problem in telling the story of Lorre is that the lyrics are unintelligible. (Lyrics sheets are available, but on a recent night they ran out.)
Regardless, this is still an exhilarating, rockin' show. Peter would be proud.
"Addicted to Bad Ideas" continues tonight and Sunday.