Written by Josh Cragun with input from the ensemble, the play begins with a dead Elmer on display at a funeral home. He then comes to life as fellow outlaws Lil' Britches (real) and Grits Crabcake (fictional) tell his story. At the same time we follow the journey of Elmer's corpse, which was longer than his living journey. The three outlaws form a gang called the Oklahombres (which was actually the name of Elmer's hero Bill Doolin's gang) and try to rob banks and trains and such, but due to their own ineptitude, and bad luck, they are not very successful. But after Elmer's violent and untimely death, his reputation grows as his corpse becomes famous; they even make movies about him (which we see scenes from). But Lil' Britches and Grits don't let these tall tales stand; the interrupt to tell us the real story of Elmer McCurdy. The story is also interrupted by clever old-timey commercial breaks.
|The Oklahombres (Boo Segersin, Sam Landman,|
and Derek Dirlam, photo by Emmet Kowler)
The Crane's performance space has been turned into the sepia-toned Wild West, complete with bar, saloon doors, and various stools and barrels. There's also a cool fire effect, played for laughs (as everything is). The shabby chic Western wear completes the look. (Scenic design by Ursula K. Bowden, costume design by Rubble&Ash, aka Andrea M. Gross and Barb Portinga.)
The Pathetic Life and Remarkable Afterlife of Elmer McCurdy, the Worst Robber in the West continues through this weekend only, with a pay what you can performance tonight (Monday). It's a fun ride through some strangely true history. Click here for info and tickets.