By Tulis McCall
Colin Quinn has a keen eye and a big mouth. Thank God. What most of us would view as a sorry state of affairs Quinn sees as a feast for the taking. With so much going wrong and so much more wrong-headed behavior coming down the pike, Quinn is like a guy who hasn’t eaten red meat in a month of Sundays looking at a beautiful hamburger – beer and french fries included of course….
Quinn is not predictable or dependable. While the right-wing may be in his cross-hairs, the left (you know, people like US – normal people who know what is true…) is not safe either. Freedom of speech is overrated. Consider that it’s direct descendant is Social Media where the butt head most stupid people in the world are given as much air time as they want. Granted there are a few extraordinary voices out there – but the traffic is running neck and neck. People who you would not cross the street to listen to have soap boxes the size of Delaware – why? – because they can.
America is great but maybe the greatest country in the world. Be careful around whom you say that or even think it. We are definitely the leader in ice-cube production and usage, which becomes a great equalizer when you compare the average person’s American soda glass contents with, let’s say, the Queen of England who would only be allowed the customary one cube.
Why this is called Red State Blue State is a mystery, event though he is dressed in red and blue. Quinn does pose the idea that we are a nation divided as red and blue. Actually we are a world divided, and our job is to figure out how to get along. On this path Quinn has noticed the cards stacked against us. In the world and in the country. His philosophy is that we should consider shrinking it down to something smaller than a state but bigger than a family. Families are sources of molecule-sized insanity and the problem is that, considering that we all come from families, we are defenseless against it. But the notion of countries – well that is just over reaching. Natural boundaries should be respected at the very least. As proof of the dysfunctionality of the present system, Quinn will be happy to give you a blow-by-blow assessment of of the state of our states. It is hilarious – but not pretty.
Still, when he dismisses us after 90 or so minutes, instead of feeling overwhelmed and hopeless, we walk out with a jaunty gait. Although Quinn disparages most of the immediate world, he does it with a light touch. He also repurposes and recycles his material, and makes it work. Opinions on the Constitution, international relations, the two party-system have not changed. He has, perhaps at the suggestion of Benjamin Franklin, brought them back in a new set of clothes. He has read and studied and read some more. Life is easily broken down into simple truths that, if most people got their noses above the water level, they would see for themselves. Quinn understands that we are walking around with blinders on, and he does not condemn us for that. Instead he steps into our field of vision and makes it impossible to look away. Quinn makes you smile as you squirm. Quinn is a comedian who sticks to your ribs. Bravo.
Colin Quinn: Red State Blue State – written and performed by Colin Quinn; Directed by Bobby Moresco
Set design by Edward T. Morris, sound design by Sam Kusnetz, and lighting design by Aaron Copp.
Tickets for Colin Quinn: Red State Blue State are $59-$79 with premium tickets available. Colin Quinn: Red State Blue State plays at the The Minetta Lane Theatre (18 Minetta Lane) Tuesday – Saturday at 7:30pm, with matinees Saturday and Sunday at 2:30pm and a Sunday evening show at 6:30pm. Tickets can be purchased by visiting ColinQuinnShow.com or calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000.