photo: Carol Rosegg
Sadly, the third and final show in Signature's Charles Mee season is easily the low point of the series. An intermissionless fantasia that drifts around a group of people who've chosen to live indefinitely in an amusement park, the play has no rising action to speak of and is instead, in typical Mee collage style, organized thematically. But in the absence of a narrative spine, Mee doesn't do enough with the theme of escapism American style to sustain (much less, build) interest over the play's length, and the slow-paced production ends up feeling longer than its two hours. The play is loaded with whimsical business - a freefall of toys, a castle that inflates and deflates before our eyes, etc. - that mostly just sits on stage dead, failing to resonate. Some of the actors cut through the numbing mood now and then - Veanne Cox and Christopher McCann most effectively among the able ensemble - but Paradise Park is otherwise remote and unreal.