Search This Blog

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

"American Hero" @ Artists's Rep

Artists's Rep shows so far this Season were two of the strangest I can remember. First was "Trevor" about an amiable wash-up showbiz chimp, a character so engaging that one easily forgets the dark, real-life inspirations hinted at in the playbill until it's too late to brace for the tragedy in the play itself.

"American Hero" is similar--in that it too is a play that has roots in real-life tragedy, in this case the suicide of a Quizno's franchisee. The play has many moments of sardonic humor, and reminded me a lot of Mike Judge films like "Office Space," a slice-of-life tale of the various indignities of being in a job you hate.  My favorite of these moments is the frequent scene-ending device of Sheri, (the two job-holding, car-sleeping youngest employee) as she dons her sombrero for the evening shift at the taco place in the same mall as the sandwich shop, her exhausted expression is priceless.

There's also the over-eager Ted, trying desperately to compensate for his drastic change in circumstance, and Jaime, the hanging by a thread single-mother. The laughs come freely, and yet there is a deft balance between them and the depressing reality of the story. It ends on a note just hopeful enough, and perhaps that the best we can expect from both the play and the situation we find ourselves in as a country.

No comments:

Post a Comment