In John Bavoso's new comedy drama, "Blight," the characters wear activist T-shirts and partisan wrangling in the living room of a house recently purchased by a lesbian couple. It was a child who lived there, and the house remains a battlefield where locals can show who is responsible.
Bavoso's awesome and sympathetic realism seems to be less political than the revival of the furious satire that Dario Fo traveled in 1974, entitled "I can not pay, I will not pay!", In which housewives confronted with Inflationary prices go so far as to hide the races that they have stolen. But the European farce is a difficult problem for Nu Sass Productions; the game in the head is overwhelming in the small converted Caos art gallery on F.
The screenplay of Pinky Swear Productions' "Blight" breathes the mood at the Anacostia Theater, and Bavoso's script illustrates how much our politics has become personal. However, the story is as stuffed as the dresses stuffed into Fo's game.
"Blight" begins slightly with her friendly but confrontational couple, the boss Silvia (Pauline Lamb) and the passive cat (Rachel Manteuffel). Then there is the evangelical type next door (Brian Crane), the radical liberal who explodes when she sees him (Hilary Kelly), the mayor with a plan for the house (Jacqueline Chenault), a real estate inspector at fair talents (Robert Heinly) and even a real estate agent pie (Dannielle Hutchinson).
The bridge is too far from the ghosts of previous tenants, the single mother (Rebecca Neumann Dreyfuss) and her troubled child (Thomas Shuman). This backdrop, which sneaks to the edge of everything else, is both underdeveloped and overwhelming – a clean-cut silhouette of emotional isolation, religious fervor and violence that caricatures these critical characters. Even with moderately modulated performances under Ryan Maxwell's direction, the sudden change of tone is too much after so many annoying conversations between Silvia and Cat on the property and romance. Bavoso understands how deeply people are eager to take moral positions and make speeches. these t-shirts with slogans equivalent to kept promises. But once she discovers a very deep water, the room stops really diving.
The problem with "Can not Pay" relates to performance: what frantic comedy can you take when the cast is only 10 feet from you, or even closer to you? If a show starts at 75 mph with the exaggerated puppet and cartoons, can it really run on cruise control for two hours?
The hyperactivity of Kristen Pilgrim's show only finds a delirious furrow from time to time, mainly in Colin Connor's clowning and Steven Soto's impassive presence. Francesca Marie Chilcote and Mary Myers maintain their energy at a high level, but that's only a note, and although Ron Jenkins' translation accounts for the growing disproportion of the room in which husbands play and the government, the show is not helped by the actors who report brutally police brutality. and take out the vote. A new adaptation "of conscientious topicality", according to the words of the London newspaper The Guardian, is Now on tour in Britain, the blazing coronation of Fo, the Nobel laureate who died two years ago at the age of 90, continues to rage, even though this staging takes place mainly.
"Blight", by John Bavoso. Directed by Ryan Maxwell. About two hours. Set, PJ Carbonell; lights, Katie McCreary; costumes, Heather Whitpan; sound design, Cresent Haynes; choreographer intimacy, Emily Sucher. Until November 11th at Anacostia Theater, 2020, Shannon Pl. SE. $ 35. pinkyswear-productions.com
"I can not pay, I do not pay!" From Dario Fo. Directed by Kristen Pilgrim. The lights, Allie Heiman; his, Seoyoung Kim; decor and costumes, Aubri O'Connor. With Aubri O'Connor. About two hours. Until November 18 in Caos on F, 923 F St. NW. $ 15 to $ 30. nusass.com