With Tom Hoefner’s The Unlikely Adventures of Race McCloud, Private Eye reactivating Off-Broadway — that’s McCloud-speak for “opening again” — following its sold-out world premiere in the 2009 New York International Fringe Festival, we’re turning over control of the CFR’s popular 5 Questions feature to the show’s central figures: 15-year-old Cookie and her uncle, the eponymous Race McCloud.
Cookie and Race form a duo that’s part Nick and Nora Charles, part Rocky and Bullwinkle, part Abbott and Costello — and it doesn’t take long to figure out which one got a double-helping of smarts while the other napped in a dumpster.
For more information and tickets to The Unlikely Adventures of Race McCloud, Private Eye — presented by Black Henna Productions and runs Sept. 9 to Sept. 19 at the Chernuchin Theatre (314 w. 54th St.) — click here or visit Smarttix or call 646-537-1733.
And now, Cookie and Race McCloud…
COOKIE: Hi, and welcome to 5 Questions about The Unlikely Adventures of Race McCloud, Private Eye. I’m here with the main character of the play, Race McCloud himself.
RACE: And this is my teenage, super-genius niece, Cookie McCloud!
COOKIE: Uncle Race, I’m the interviewer. You don’t have to introduce the interviewer.
RACE: Oh. Sorry.
COOKIE: Don’t worry about it. Let’s get started: Detective McCloud, why don’t you tell us what the play is about?
RACE: Who’s Detective McCloud?
COOKIE: …You are.
RACE: Wow, you’re right! I totally forgot! Nobody ever calls me that!
COOKIE: Okay, so, about the play…
RACE: I mean, I get “Hey, you!” and “Guy!” and “Move it, moron!” a whole lot, but nobody ever calls me Detective McCl…
COOKIE: The play, Uncle Race?
RACE: What? Oh, yeah! Well, it’s kinda about me, I guess, and stuff I do…like, you know, I sit in my office-slash-apartment and I…uh…eat cereal, and…uh…play Nintendo…
COOKIE: No, that’s what you usually do. So…what do you do in this play?
RACE: I spend a lot of time being confused and getting scared. Does that count?
COOKIE: (audible sigh) Why don’t you tell them about how we come from a family of secret agents? And how they all get kidnapped? And then how it’s up to you and me to find them and solve the mystery of their disappearance?
RACE: Yeah, that’s great! Totally tell them that!
COOKIE: No, I’m interviewing you — you tell them that!
RACE: But you just did.
COOKIE: (teeth grinding audibly) Let’s move on! Tell us a little bit about the characters in the play.
RACE: Okay! There’s me.
RACE: And there’s you.
RACE: And there’s ninjas! All sorts of ninjas! It’s chock-full of ninjas!
COOKIE: Uncle Race! There are no ninjas in this play!
RACE: But people love ninjas.
COOKIE: But you can’t tell them there’s ninjas if there are no ninjas! You can tell them we’ve got “perfect” agents, vampires and werewolves, magical talking stone idols, superheroes, the ghost of an ancient tribal queen, supercomputers, a professional monster slayer and a tomb-raiding treasure hunter. But no ninjas.
RACE: People like ninjas more than they like any of that stuff.
COOKIE: Actually, from what I understand, vampires are pretty popular these days. Werewolves, too. It’s a happy coincidence.
RACE: I wouldn’t know. I don’t really get out much. Or have many friends.
COOKIE: You’re not selling yourself very well.
RACE: Whoever wrote this play should have put ninjas in it.
COOKIE: Can we forget about the ninjas?
RACE: Transforming robot ninjas!
COOKIE: Uncle Race!
COOKIE: So, who do you think would like this play, Uncle Race?
RACE: Certainly not people who like ninjas.
COOKIE: For the love of…can we say that it’s a great show for families?
RACE: Yeah, I guess.
COOKIE: And that it’s sort of an onstage comic book, a comedy-adventure that fans of stories like Spider-Man and Harry Potter would really enjoy?
RACE: Spider-Man and Harry Potter are in this play? Wow, where can I get tickets?!
COOKIE: They’re not in the play. People who like them would like the play!
RACE: Wow, that’s a lot of people.
RACE: I mean Spider-Man and Harry Potter are really, really popular. That’s a lot to live up to.
COOKIE: Okay, but…
RACE: That’s a lot of expectations to put on me, Cookie. I’m not sure I can deal with that.
COOKIE: Okay! I get it; I’m not saying we’re that good, but this is a like-minded story. We’re of that ilk.
RACE: …I have no idea what you just said.
COOKIE: So in closing. It’s The Unlikely Adventures of Race McCloud, Private Eye, running September 9th to the 19th at the Chernuchin Theatre in Manhattan.
RACE: That wasn’t five questions.
COOKIE: We are quitting while we’re ahead.
RACE: But there are monkeys! Lots of monkeys!
COOKIE: There are no…forget it. This was a bad idea from the start. I quit.
RACE: Cookie? Cookie?! Aw, come back! Cook! People love monkeys! Hey everyone, don’t take that personally. She’s always like that. See you at the show…and no worries. I’ll try to sneak some ninja-monkeys in there if I can.