By Toby Zinman
For the Inquirer
Like Felix and Oscar in The Odd Couple, like Gogo and Didi in Waiting for Godot, Dave and Aaron of this new delightful show from 1812 Productions, are a mismatched pair of guys who work perfectly together. And like those other plays, Dave and Aaron Go To Work, is a ode to friendship—moving as well as funny--but in this case, a silent ode. Not a word is spoken during this rich seventy minutes.
Since Dave Jadico and Aaron Cromie are not only the stars of the show but its creators, they are perfectly suited to the roles. Jadico is Mr. Neat, Mr. Precise, Mr. Raised Eyebrow. If he spoke he'd say, "Really?" Cromie is Mr. Messy, Mr.Slapdash, Mr. Hapless Stare. If he spoke he'd say, "What?." But they don't speak except with their faces and their meticulous miming. Charlie Chaplin squared.
The two share a tiny room—the more you look at the set (designed by Jadico), the cleverer it gets. They wake up, shave, dress, cook breakfast, and read the want ads in the newspaper in a space without an inch to spare. Their morning routine is repeated over and over—each time better—as they find job after job.
They go from librarians (a dazzling display of book shelving), to zoologist (Cromie's giant lizard puppet is adorable), to power line repairmen, to astronauts (Cromie's miniature spacemen are perfect as we watch a tiny moonlanding), to museum guards, to short order cooks. Each adventure ends in disaster, until finally they part ways. Then their individual jobs lead them back to each other (as if we ever doubted a happy ending).
With a witty sound design by Alex Bechtel, hilarious costumes by Katherine Fritz, and directed with wild precision by Lee Ann Etzold, Dave and Aaron Go to Work is an ideal holiday and family entertainment.
1812 Productions at Plays & Players Theatre, 1714 Delancey St. Through Dec.31.