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January 24, 2010

That’s not a typo.

I was trepidatious about Chuck Mee’s play at [Inside] the Ford. Forty-some-odd scenes? Mee approached it as an homage to the second half of the 20th century – and to the late pop artist, Bob Rauschenberg. And a play that’s an homage to a pop artist has to at least feel disjointed.

The girl on skates doesn’t say a word. Two gay lovers dance and kiss in front of the mom. A pair slips-n-slides on a green olive-laden tarp made slick by bottles of gin with vermouth merely waved over the top. A few cheerleaders in tight sweaters bounce by in a parade. (They’ll be replaced in coming performances by a barber shop quarter and a real high school marching band.) Love is examined and tearfully explained by a woman stuffing her face – and, hence, the floor – with cake. She’ll eat some of what she drops.

And the pizza delivery guy, who appears two-thirds of the way in, stops the show cold with his pronouncements of forgiveness, explaining he had slashed the throats of three of his family. The girl on skates seems attracted. But the interruption was as intended: the commercial during a made-for-TV movie, which jolts us out of the familiar and the cast we’ve come to know becomes us, taking in pizza guy.

The scenes pile up, as does laundry until the basket is full. When it is, we  stop adding clothes and cleanse them – and ourselves. Under Bart DeLorenzo’s direction, I left the theatre awash. It will be awhile before I reach the rinse cycle.

My preperformance interview with Bart DeLorenzo will appear soon.

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