From AntiMatters, May 2001:
OK, listen up, boys, and listen up good, 'cause I'm only gonna explain
Seems that the universe isn't quite the one we think it is. In Chernobyl
1999, we discover that a nuclear holocaust is narrowly averted, but
caused by one of a multitude of dodos stuck in the works of the nuclear
machinery. Dodos, of course, infest the planet in numbers like none seen
before. There are so many that people stomp on the dodos, killing them as
matter of course.
How did this strange state of affairs occur? To answer this, we return to
1919, where Harry Zeffero, with the help of his South African sidekick
Tomas discovers the Last Dodo, one of a tribe of dodos moved to a hidden
but erosion-threatened island in the middle of the Nile River.
Harry Zeffero, to join the Explorer's Club, inexplicably the jeweler's
dream, leaves his family to befriend and eventually befoul Myessence
Missolini, the name of the very human last dodo, a preadolescent in the
lost culture of endangered dodos. Zeffero, in exchange for money, clothes
and a high life, sleeps with the dodo, which doesn't seem to bother
especially, since people question if the last dodo is, in fact, a dodo.
Some think she's a goose. Some think she's a human. Some think she a
goddess incarnate. What is she really?
The answer might be able to be found in The Last Dodo, Peter Dizozza's
latest production, available on Tuesdays at Baby Jupiter. Starring Tony
Hightower and Kimberly Mossel, issues of bestiality, family heritage,
swapping, endangered species, female circumcision, ritual mutilation and
the divergence of aboriginal cultures all are brought up and rapidly
considered or discarded in the new musical.
There are good songs. There are hilarious lines. There is an obscene plot
and more polysyllabic utterances than you could fornicate with any
It's a sprawling, unwieldy work, with so many concepts as to fill three
musicals. It's a powerful set of ideas that will, considering Peter
Dizozza's track record, be revised and reformed over and over again until
it emerges as a barely recognizable reincarnation of its former self. It
might be worth seeing The Last Dodo, one of a tribe of dodos, before this
version goes extinct.
Come one and all.
-- Jonathan Berger
The Last Dodo, a musical written and directed by Peter
Dizozza is a jump cut through the world of John Cage, Norman Z. McLeod, William
Shakespeare, and Ellen Stewart that will leave you reeling on the editing room
floor. Clocking in at 70 minutes this dense work is never boring as a game
ensemble cast keep a giddy pace with the frenetic multi-layered script. Kimberly
Mossel is engaging and energetic as the Last Dodo and worth the price of
admission alone. Tony Hightower soulfully
portrays Harry Zeffero with a dour resignation, which is contrasted nicely by
Aashis Pahtak’s portrayal of Tomas Xemikis as a dapper enthusiast happy to
manipulate any situation. Rebecca Feldman and Linus Gelber are excellent
providing a two step punch line that punctuates the script with understanding.
Linda Kobylinski explores the cosmopolitan Jerri Zeffero with elegance and verve
while Dawn Cherie duals roles as educator and performer to full effect.
The distressed pop of choreographer Meghan Elizabeth Burns and the set and
costume design of Patricia Grace are right on time. Kenny Davidson keeps balance
on stage music director. The Last Dodo, completes Dizozza’s trilogy on
feminist concern in the musical[Prepare to Meet Your Maker and Coppelia].
Sun. July 9th, 2000 Reading at 5C Cultural Ctr.
Peter Dizozza's poignant new play, The Last Dodo,
presented workshop-style at 5C Cultural Center, politely
presents surrealist farce as a Rosetta Stone, translating
the exploration of current events. The good-natured
bumbling plot discovers the morality of genital
mutilation in the name of cultural self-determination and
cultural self-preservation. Evenly paced and
light-hearted, Dizozza's clever wordplay allow the
excellent cast to flesh out their roles, expanding
potentially reactionary rhetoric into a whimsical search
through a dense jungle of dynamic.