Saturday, May 21, 2011

Future Anxiety **

Lauren Haines' satire at The Flea imagines a grim future in which environmental depredation has taken its toll and 12 billion people are competing for ever-diminishing resources. The Chinese import American debtors as slave labor. A woman who "collects" people for deportation to China is too ashamed to admit her occupation to her friends. People who chose cryogenics return to a world far worse than the one they left and must undergo two years of reorientation as wards of the state. A rapacious businessman scours the world for traces of vanished plant species. A poet softens the heart of a stern Chinese guard. A homeless man gives survival tips. A possibly crazed leader recruits followers to build a spaceship to travel to a new planet where they can start over -- and destroy a new environment. The various plot lines alternate in short scenes. 23 members of the Bats, the Flea's talented resident company of young actors, form the cast. The results are uneven and the whole is somehow less than its parts. The direction by Jim Simpson is fluid and the set by Kyle Chepulis makes good use of a small budget. The highlight for me actually took place before the play even started -- there is 15 minutes of weird vocalization by an uncredited male that is hysterically funny. Running time: 80 minutes.

P.S. Alas, there were more people in the cast than in the audience.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oy -- It sounds like this play should have ended in a mass suicide! Unfortunately, the plot lines seem all too plausible to me. I have plenty of my own future anxiety already, so I'll definitely take a pass on this one, although I am tempted by those weird male vocalizations! Thanks, Bob.