Through August 3, A Guthrie Experience for Actors in Training is presenting Caviar on Credit at the Dowling Studio. For the past 12 years, the Guthrie has taken pride in offering continuing education programs to young actors from institutions throughout the country and hosting a stage upon which they exhibit all they’ve learned. In return, the theater hopes to entice the players back to the Twin Cities once they pursue a full-time career: Of the 145 actors who have taken part in the program, over 50 have signed on in some capacity with the Guthrie following their training.
This season’s show, directed by Marcela Lorca (The Secret Fall of Constance Wilde), casts 14 players in the comedic mystery of swindler Walter Jackson Junior. A case of masked identity and repeat suckers, the actors take turns playing the protagonists, lending a Bourne Identity feel to it all. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the show, which was written by the cast itself, is the physicality: Each member has equal billing in dance numbers, most of which are cleverly choreographed, not campy, borrowing moves from eras long (and not so long) ago. With a heavy film noir influence, Caviar on Credit has fun playing with time period (jaunty fedoras, but also cell phones). Keep an eye on Laura Esposito who plays (among other characters) the spiritually-wandering Feta Karakas. A master of Cheri Oteri-like cuteness and facial contortion, Esposito doesn’t disappoint, even when focus is meant to be elsewhere on stage.