TIFF AND MOM AND TALES FROM MOM’S CRYPT, Corn Productions, at the Corn Palace. Mom Tiffelmeyer and her daughter Tiffany, the dysfunctional drag creations of Robert Bouman and Todd Schaner, have put the heck back into Halloween with Tiff and Mom and Tales From Mom’s Crypt. In their newly christened theater space, the Corn Palace, the addicted, compulsive pair and their motley companions parody the comic-book predictability of TV’s Tales From the Crypt in six cavalierly creepy tales. Call the show strange, call it twisted, call it a malevolent growth on the backside of family values–it’s all that and more.
Horror fans will relish Tiff and Mom’s goofy versions of these familiar stories, which inevitably end with the audience getting to scream really loud, cued by a flashing sign amid Wal-Mart cobwebs. Without pretense of virtuosity or gender illusion, the cast rollick through their very queer versions of dark seductions, freak shows, and ghoulish urban legends. The “special effects” are cursory, and the acting is innocently, enthusiastically sloppy.
Running throughout the evening are the scatological jokes, audience-participation games, and coy plays within plays that make Tiff and Mom a favorite exemplar of entertainingly bad fringe theater. Gleefully amateurish, flagrantly derivative, and universally offensive, this piece is a charming bit of undigested cultural gristle. It takes nothing seriously. That’s why it’s so much fun. –Carol Burbank