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Look, I don’t like “fun” per se. I know a lot of you do, but for the most part what other folks consider “fun” I find puzzling. Sitting outside getting third degree burns watching baseball. Hopping on a sail boat to sail to nowhere before you turn around and head back home. Strapping long narrow pieces of metal onto you feet and purposely going to the top of a snowy mountain so that you can figure out how to, well, slide down – and then do it over and over again. No. No thank you.
Also on my list of things I do not like is Audience Participation of any kind. Entertain me. Do not ask me to work for you.
I was, therefore, PLEASANTLY surprised to enjoy myself in the extreme….
“Fish Men” is a thinking person’s play. It has a direct correlation to what is happening in our world today: vengeance, worldwide genocide, religious and government damnation and retribution…
With Everybody, now in production at Signature Theatre, Brendan Jacobs-Jenkins has created another circuitous and intriguing route for us to follow. Like his previous plays, Octoroon, Appropriate and Gloria Jacobs-Jenkins takes no prisoners. You either keep up with the pace or you fall off the wagon train. One gets the feeling that Jacob-Jennings doesn’t care either way because his eye is locked onto the trail ahead.
As the curtain comes down on The Vineyard’s production of Kid Victory by John Kander and Greg Pierce, you might be tempted to flip through your mental rolodex and count all the many musical genres that have been squeezed into this 1 hour and 45 minutes of non-stop action and some extremely beautiful music. Hymns, jazz, tap dance, ballads, snappy character tunes – and more. On the other hand, the lyrics, book and storyline – these elements are fragmented and elusive.
I give nothing away when I tell you that this play is based on the Sandy Hook shooting of 2012. Nor that Ms. Ireland plays a single mother whose son was killed on that day. That is where the predictable trail begins and ends. Where writer Martín Zimmerman and director by Leigh Silverman guide the story has a depth and stunning resonance that reaches way beyond the internal place you use as a boundary line between you and the world out there.
This is doubtless going to become the hottest ticket in town, but you are nonetheless here encouraged to snag one by any means possible. I don’t want to overstate myself, but that would be difficult to do: this is a production for the ages, as good as it gets, a performance so exceptional, so overwhelming, you might be lucky enough to see something like it once, maybe twice in a lifetime.