Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Democracy in America

At times, Democracy in America is hysterical; that, coupled with Annie Dorsen's direction (of Passing Strange fame), is perhaps reason enough to see it. and perhaps that's enough of a reason, coupled with Annie Dorsen's direction, to see this excitingly unpredictable work of theater. (More performance art than theater, but that's subjective and beside the point.) The problem with Democracy in America is that it too accurately depicts America: it's slick, clever, and commercial, and nothing else. It's ADD as entertainment, and for all the fiercely directed moments, such as a high-stakes game of Russian roulette (pantomimed with a single, ominous bullet), there are plenty of moments -- "One performer on top of the others, with the text 'Ilan Bachrach is a sex god'" that have no room to maneuver, whether they're done with puppets or not. The best moment involves Okwui Okpokwasili giving a rim job to a dinosaur (yes, you'd literally have to be there); let that guide your moral and monetary compass.

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