We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
The Real Adventures of Tom Mix
Warehouse – Next Door
July 22, 6 p.m.
July 24, 8 p.m.
July 26, 1 p.m.
They say: “The glamour of Hollywood meets the glory of the Old West in the real life, death-defying adventures of Tom Mix, the first western movie star.”
Brian’s take: Your grandmother’s armpits. The British Open. An assortment of mildly fragrant cheeses. All of these things are wilder than the West portrayed in The Real Adventures of Tom Mix.
Here’s the gist: Tom Mix was one of the first famous Western movie stars. He made hundreds of films — the vast majority of them silent — and the creators of this play have apparently used letters and historical papers and whatnot to construct a monologue for an actor who rarely got to recite one.
A compelling idea, sure: giving voice to the voiceless. But good lord, give that voice something to say — and an hour’s worth of vaguely interesting biographical facts does not count.
Playing the character of Mix, at least as it’s currently written, is a thankless task to ask of Jack Tomalis — or any actor really. And Tomalis doesn’t show the character much love in return. In lieu of their voices, silent movie actors, by necessity, drew upon a deep and dynamic arsenal of expressions. Tomalis, on the other hand, draws upon approximately two — his Consternated Face, and his Wistful Face. I left The Real Adventures of Tom Mix wearing my own version of the former.
See it if: Your grandma’s armpits are unavailable.
Skip it if: Thinking of the Old West inspires your Wistful Face. This failed homage will turn your nostalgia to sadness.