URGENT AND CONFIDENTIAL: Dean Cameron's Nigerian Spam Scam Scam

Preaching from the pulpit

If you have an email account with any of the big companies - MSN, Yahoo, EarthLink - you've probably received the email; a convoluted and urgently worded plea for money from some vaguely royal or deposed luminary from Nigeria.  It has an impossible-to-follow explanation for why MILLIONS of dollars are locked up, how the only key to the incredible wealth is your compassion, kindness, and $2000, and how in exchange for $2000 you will receive a percentage of the fortune.   Many of you will simply delete the email and go about your day.  Dean Cameron has engaged one of these con men in a 9-month (and counting) correspondence that he has mounted as an entertaining and witty comment on greed and patience.

URGENT AND CONFIDENTIAL: Dean Cameron's Nigerian Spam Scam Scam is, as they say, funny because it's true.   Against a backdrop of the American flag (a set detail from another show running at the Sacred Fools Theater), is a bank of televisions and two podiums from which the actors read excerpts from the emails.  Cameron's character is a nutty, very confused cat lover, who uses intimations of wealth and sexuality - at times hetero, at times homo - to bait Mariam and Ibrahim Abacha into continuing the exchanges.   Victor Isaac portrays the mother and son team with earnest desperation and canny sex appeal.  Cameron personalizes the 45-minute performance with details of his life and uses images projected on the televisions to excellent dramatic effect.  The most interesting and hilarious moments of the evening, however, come from actual tape-recorded telephone conferences between Cameron, his 'lawyer" Perry Mason, and the real-life Ibrahim.  

Poor Kitty

The telephone calls are an attempt by Ibrahim to clarify for Cameron the procedure for getting the money to Amsterdam, where the $30 million is secured.  Cameron uses every trick in the book - over-the-top gay mannerisms - complete with two cats, a houseboy, a lisp, and a flaming red silk robe,  non-sequitors (he replies to pleas for money with a guacamole recipe and a photo of his shaved cat), and malapropisms galore, but the profound comedy comes from Ibrahim in trying to keep his batty "mark" on the line.  You've got to hand it to the guy; he keeps his eye on the prize.  The roles of hunter and prey flip-flop dizzyingly, and the clever twists escalate when another Nigerian scam artist contacts Cameron.  By the time Cameron sends Ibrahim a little "something for his trouble," the conman most definitely has earned it.

Outmaneuvering a manipulator - everyone delights in it, none more than Cameron who even has a website where you can read the entire unabridged and ongoing saga.  URGENT AND CONFIDENTIAL is comedic mother lode mined with wit, intelligence and a little cruelty; a glorified staged reading - glorified by the outrageous characters invented by both sides, and portrayed with gusto by Dean Cameron and Victor Isaac.  You'll wish you had thought of it first

To find out more about showtimes and plays call the Sacred Fools Theater at: (310) 281-8337 or visit the website at: http://www.sacredfools.org/


 

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