Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Head Hunter by Mark Borkowski at The Producers' Club/Grand Theater

L-R: Sal Inzerillo and Robert Mobley in THE HEAD HUNTER.  Photo by Jonathan Slaff.
When The Head Hunter by Mark Borkowski first debuted off-off-Broadway fourteen years ago, it received scant notice (although its only real critical review at that time actually was very positive, comparing Borkowski’s writing to that of both David Mamet and Sam Shepard).  Here’s hoping that the play’s current revival at The Producers’ Club/Grand Theater on West 44th Street in midtown Manhattan draws more attention.  It certainly deserves it.

This is a very well well-written, gritty, black comedy in which Salvy (Sal Inzerillo), a hit-man for the mob, comes to the aid of his cousin Casmir (Robert Mobley), a screenwriter duped by an unscrupulous producer into relinquishing the rights to his script.  Salvy, who has a signature penchant for decapitation, intends to assist his cousin in retrieving the script (based on the lives of Salvy’s and Casmir’s fathers) – no matter what it might take.

Inzerillo and Mobley are two very professional actors and they play their roles in this disturbingly funny two hander for all it’s worth.  As they confront the superficial problem of retrieving Casmir’s script, they come to explore as well the deeper bonds between their respective families – including those that might better have remained undiscovered.  Inzerillo is particularly effective, coming across as something of a mixture of a comical low-life straight out of Damon Runyon and a psychopathic killer.

The Head Hunter is now in the midst of a limited run which ends on May 4.  So if you are planning to see it – and I certainly hope you do – there’s not much time left.

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