“Never put it past anybody to vote against his own best interest.”
This quote from JoAnne (Ann Whitney), an elderly pessimist who gets many of the best lines in Rebecca Gilman’s Soups, Stews, and Casseroles: 1976, embodies much of Gilman’s message about changes America willingly accepted in the era when big business played its trump card against private labor unions.
One disadvantage of video replacing photography as the public’s primary means for interpreting the world is video provides a false sense of context. Viewers watching a 30-second video too often choose a side in a conflict without considering what occurred in the hours, days, weeks, and years preceding the video.
Lucy Kirkwood’s play Chimerica (playing at the Timeline Theater) is anchored on June 6, 1989, the day that photojournalist Jeff Widener immortalized the Tank Man photo as a symbol of the Tiananmen Square protests. In this three-hour exploration into the contrasts between modern China and modern America, most of Kirkwood’s ideas find their target despite Kirkwood not quite recognizing the most powerful moment in her script.
For those who have not spent any time watching SpongeBobSquarepants on Nickelodeon since its premier 17 years ago, the opening number of The SpongeBob Musical (“Bikini Bottom Day” written by Jonathan Coulton) provides a brief introduction of all of the major characters. For those that have watched the show, “Bikini Bottom Day” is a spectacle of creative yet simplified costuming. Mr. Krabs (Carlos Lopez) emerges wearing giant red boxing gloves to simulate his claws, Patrick Star (Danny Skinner) has a pointy pink haircut, and Squidward (Gavin Lee) wears a pair of pants with two false legs attached. With each character introduction, the audience laughs and sometimes even applauds… this is a show that knows thy audience.