Monday, November 09, 2009

The Lesser Seductions of History

In August Schulenburg's ambitious, scintillating new play, eleven precisely drawn characters swirl year by year through the 1960s, illustrating through a quick succession of mostly short scenes their own messy dreams and devastations, while shouldering the zeitgeist they are also asked to embody. Camelot, the counterculture, drugs, the sexual revolution, Apollo, Vietnam, the Civil Rights movement (nonviolent and otherwise) – it's all here in one evening of theater. And damned if Schulenburg, director Heather Cohn, and their excellent cast don't pull it off. The characters become real to us while representing movements and ideas at the same time. It's a heavy load but Schulenburg's writing is pointed enough, and the players deft enough, to carry it with seeming ease, and they rivet our attention for two-plus hours. As precisely as the play is structured, the lives it depicts are anything but neat. Therein lies the real accomplishment. Read the full review.

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