Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Play Preview

:: portland center stage ::

I played hooky vis-à-vis the televised presidential debate tonight (will catch up later), to attend a preview performance of R. Buckminster Fuller: The History (and Mystery) of the Universe, this being some years since the last time I saw it, in Seattle.

I appreciated a lot of new aspects this time. For example, just when the monologue veers into bridging the humanities to the sciences, the actor breaks into an obvious dance, whereas hitherto his clock-like precision has been more machine world in tone, a cheerful "robot Bucky" looking back on a cruel world, recalling his urge to leave it and resolution to stay (a bodhisattva moment).

The choreography is tight, and a tribute to Allegra's influence, as she brought out this more exuberant dancer in her dad, new levels of performance.

Once past intermission, we get to the villains in our story, our Wall Street lawyers, somewhat Wolfram & Hart like, exporting jobs overseas while cannibalizing FDR's New Deal, Eisenhower their unwitting puppet.

Individuals have smarts, take initiative, while corporations are literally soulless, so maybe The Grunch will turn out to be less of a killer than we fear? The impossible does happen.

This script packs a lot in, stays quite true to source materials, giving audiences a fairly painless, quite enjoyable, comprehensive introduction to one of our great philanthropists, a doer and a thinker. The printed program comes with an interesting time line, worth a gander.