Saturday, August 11, 2007

FRINGE: Not From Canada

How existential can you get when you're busy covering a table with push-top soap dispensers? The answer, provided by Kevin Doyle's funny but overlong play Not from Canada, is "very." It's a commercially branded No Exit, a satire that stresses the banality of an identity-less society by sticking three amnesiacs in a room. Cute Guy, Cute Girl, and Not-So-Cute Girl are exactly that, and nothing more: their fate is to recount postmodern narratives in a clipped and incredulous tone as a French waiter exaggeratedly ignores them. With intentionally racist observations about our segregated culture, Doyle breaks the ice by having them all realize what they have in common: they are white and have clothes on from Malaysia (and so therefore must be friends). The show continues in this vein, looking at the concerns of affluent idiots who fear the abundance of choice, celebrate the necessity of useless sales, and get lost in the corporate machine: "Is it a Target-Taco Bell or a Taco-Target Bell?

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