The Umbilical Brothers, the acclaimed creators of off-Broadway's Thwak, are among five new acts added to the lineup for Woodstock '99, July 23-25, in Rome, New York. Thwak debuted Off-Off-Broadway at the Westbeth Theater Center, making such a splash that producers jumped on-board for a commercial move to the Minetta Lane Theatre, where it began performances May 25.
The Drama Desk-nominated show, which started previews March 4 and opened March 18, is an evening of physical comedy and self-produced sound effects.
The Brothers are writer-performers David Collins and Shane Dundas, whose past shows include Don't Explain and Heaven by Storm. The two have performed these pieces all over the world, including on London's West End and in Germany, South America, South Africa, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Spain and Canada. Awards given to the purveyors of "tightly choreographed mayhem, mime and live audio acrobatics" include five consecutive years worth of Australian Entertainment's MO Award for Best Comedy Group, the Critics Choice Award for comedy in 1995's Edinburgh Festival and the United Slapstick Award in Germany. Television appearances here have included Jay Leno, a stint on Fox's "American Comedy Awards" March 15, and all the sound and voice work on Nickelodeon's animated series, "Maisy."
As of the current schedule, Thwak would mark the only theatre based presence in a huge music line-up including the likes of Alanis Morissette, the Dave Matthews Band, Rage Against the Machine, Buckcherry and Sheryl Crow.
Organizers for the festival, taking place at the old Griffiss Air Force Base, say they expect as many as 250,000 people.
-- By Sean McGrath