‘Trumbo’ lacks laughs
A U.S. Comedy Arts Festival performance last night at the Wheeler Opera House had many audience members scratching their heads – and leaving before the end of the show.”Trumbo: Red, White and Blacklisted,” a play about former screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, who was blacklisted from Hollywood during the Communist witch hunts of the 1950s, saw around 40 of its audience members creep out before curtain call.Trumbo’s despairing journey from prison to poverty to eventual exile in Mexico was far too serious for what many ticket-holders were expecting.”It wasn’t funny at all. What’s McCarthyism got to do with comedy?” a disgusted Scooch Martinsson said.”It wasn’t what we expected. We came for a comedy and got a pretty serious drama,” Oneal Peters offered.Adding to the audience’s complaint, the play is essentially a compilation of elegant but dense and very long letters actually written by Trumbo during the ordeal. Even the dramatic acting of Christopher Lloyd, who played Trumbo, failed to captivate those expecting one of Lloyd’s goofy character performances. “What happened to the guy from ‘Taxi’ and ‘Back to the Future’?” disappointed audience member Chris Jensen said. “What a bummer.”
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