Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Killing the Boss
Save for the fierce power of the play within a play in Catherine Filloux's new play Killing the Boss, I feel that this show is killing time more than anything else. The autobiographical parts of this play are buried in the nightmare-like presentation (both figurative and literal), and the play suffers from refusing to commit enough to any idea long enough for us to feel for it. I understand that the setting is unnamed, but since it's most likely Cambodia, the choice to embody the show with so little atmosphere or culture just leaves it floating in a void (much like the cryptic goldfish bags of water that make up the "set"). Worse still, the majority of the script shies away from the clever observations Filloux made in her last collaboration with director Jean Randich (Lemkin's House) and toward flippant dark humor (when an MS-riddled character, is told that he's "on the ground" of the embassy's attempts to locate his missing wife, he promptly falls out of his chair and says, "I guess so"). The play does not achieve the "strange existential kind of hilarity" with jokes like those, and the lack of substance drowns even the better actors in the shallows of empty talk.