A reponse to Slog Mar 6, 2009
I love this show full stop, and have hoped it would come to Seattle since it first knocked me out at TBA in Portland, fall 2007. I hope I get to see it again, again.
The piece is an attempt, I think, to be heartfelt and real, and to use a million alienation devices (bad accents, overacting, repetitive found gestures, goofy costumes, dance breaks) as a way of letting you listen to everyday conversations without associating them with specific persons or situations (the only proper nouns, till the very end, are brands of soda, movie actors, New York City, and acronyms for office forms). Through that transmutation, the conversations don't actually take on weight, but you can hear in them a general hum of loneliness, desire, frustration, ambition, and love. (The alienation devices, I should point out, are also often crack-you-up funny.)
In terms of actual theater, I love the way the absurdist stage aspects have analogs in the text, and how those connections are revealed over the course of the evening. The connections between signifiers are not then made especially meaningful, but the structure itself begins to take on a strange, lovely abstract form. A clear distinction is being drawn between the mundane and art, even art derived entirely from the mundane.
As the show's concerns move directly toward theater (which appears in the debased form of midwestern dinner theater), it makes an argument for art which is not transcendental, nor realistic in any standard conception of the term, nor well-made in the typical sense, but incredibly human.
Also, I love to pieces the handsome bearded hipster in Hasidic pirate mufti doing an amazing geekdance over human beatboxing, alongside an Irish-Jewish cowboy with a fake mustache, and a French lady in a wig, leotard, and American Apparel jogging shorts, who stops the music to holler "I'm a sexy robot!" And then dances some more.
-Eric Fredericksen [cross-posted here]