Sunday, August 12, 2007

FRINGE: Freedom! And the Sticky End of Make-Believe

The catch to making universal theater or "inspiring international dialogue" is that you have to speak very broadly. In the case of Freedom! and the sticky end of make-believe, there's also a loss of nuance and intelligibility. Not that there isn't intelligence in Savannah Theatre Project's political cry; but Thom Pasculli's text is drowned out beneath the many theatrical experiments. A more focused director than Allison Talis might be able to call it Theater of the Absurd, but the work just comes across as a checklist: stilts, a pseudo duet (with an old recording of "Keep Young & Beautiful"), flashlights on a dark stage, physical repetition, distortion, roller skates, musical interludes (sax, oboe, tambourine), avant garde dances layered with sheets, and a teddy bear named God. What's good is some of the acting from the broad and excitable cast, but better (and stranger) satires have been made of war. There's--sadly--nothing here we haven't seen before.

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