Totes Blessed, the latest production by SF-based sketch comedy group Chardonnay, takes a tongue-in-cheek and dagger-in-heart romp through all that is “basic,” breezily exploring the sharp-toothed, exploitative edges that exist between modern commercial culture and female empowerment. The show, which is about 80 intermissionless minutes long, features five of the core Chardonnay women (and one dude) returning to […]Read more "Totes Blessed: Basic White Wine and Dark Comedy"
Any work of satire can become a work of truth. Like water in a plastic tray becomes ice cubes in a freezer, the final nature and meaning of a play inexorably depends on its surrounding environment, with fluid parody shifting noiselessly to crystalline sociologic description without one dot of ink having changed in the script. […]Read more "#bros: Touching the Glass Ceiling of the Masculine Woke"
“I think we have a dead patient.” That was the unit clerk talking to me. We were standing outside in the bright sun, both squinting a little bit at each other because we had so recently come from the hospital’s disorienting, windowless emergency department. It was about noon. I had left the ER maybe 30 […]Read more "How to Be a White Man: A Dead Patient and a Gentler Intersectionality Than We Deserve"
Off the back of my small apartment, I have a small balcony. It peers out peacefully over a courtyard that is bounded on its opposite side by the parallel wing of my building, two mirror halves that rise like medieval castle bulwarks above the kempt grass and decorative stone pathways that the management-company representative serenely called a “zen garden” when I […]Read more "Of Pigeons and Meth"
Most medical issues have their beginning in a bathroom or, failing that, quickly find their way to one. In our white-glove modernity, the bathroom is reserved uniquely as the site of all acts too animalistic and unseemly for polite space yet too inextricably human to be avoided, those acts that bedevil us as they define […]Read more "Where All Good Rabbits Go: An Elegy in Motion"
Space is the ultimate clean metaphor in the human consciousness. There is the vacuum, and there is matter. There is the void, and there is light, the Chaos as distinct from the Cosmos, and the black as discrete, completing opposite of the white. This dichotomous view of the Universe is irresistible to us, slowly intensifying […]Read more "The Ice Cream Sandwich Incident: Black, White, and Deliciously Gray"
One of the great powers of the human brain is extrapolation: we can glimpse a ball flying through the air and effortlessly imagine both where it must have come from and who will be in position to catch it when it lands. And I think this is why we love origin stories so much. Our heroes and idols […]Read more "Maggie’s Riff: A Pitch-Perfect Tune for Lowell’s Native Sun"
The latest production of FaultLine Theater, “Stegosaurus (Or) Three Cheers for Climate Change,” not only possesses the most complex and enigmatic name of any of the company’s pieces to date, it is also unquestionably the group’s most intentionally-dissonant and jarring output of at least the past year. For as long as I have been aware of FaultLine, it has had a consistent self-description: […]Read more "Stegosaurus: Three Cheers for Dystopia"
The best way to understand a modern phenomenon is often through the lens of something well-worn and familiar, and FaultLine Theater has proven their mastery of this approach through and through with their undeniable new musical, “Tinderella.” If you haven’t already guessed from the portmanteau name, this production takes the storyline bones of the old Cinderella chestnut and […]Read more "Tinderella: Magic, Way More Than Less"
If I were as old as I am in dog years, I’d be dead. That’s a trite realization, but it’s also a direct appreciation of mortality, and directly appreciating mortality is one of the core goals of Dead Dog’s Bone, the current production of FaultLine Theater. Written by Veronica Tjioe and staged now for maybe the second time, […]Read more "Dead Dog’s Bone: The Heart and Its Roots"