Saturday, October 09, 2010

The Sixth World

The new season at Single Carrot Theater has begun, and the Carrots are genetically pre-disposed to material like Natural Selection. The action takes place a bit into the future, when our experience of reality is even further filtered through the internet tubes. Kids take swimming lessons via Skype while sitting in their bedrooms, and play in school orchestras in the same way. Most animals are extinct, and indigenous people are increasingly difficult to find. When Henry--the manager of a Native American exhibit at Culture Fiesta them park--loses one of his Navajo "performers," he has to go out in the wilderness to bag a new one. It's quite a feat for Henry, who is descended from Kit Carson, to go anywhere which is not a conference center, and much of what we've become in the civilized world is ably lampooned.

The play reminds me a lot of the writer George Saunders, whose book Civilwarland in Bad Decline has a very similar theme; the play, like that book, made me laugh loudly several times.

I don't think I've seen Christopher Rutherford before, but his work as Henry is exquistely fine. He's got great comedic timing, and can switch gears precisely when the role requires genuine anger, worry, or fear. He was a pleasure to watch, and he fits in quite well with old Carrots faves. The same is true of Lyndsay Webb, who plays multiple roles without missing a beat. The Carrot regulars are always on point: Elliot Rauh works himself into a Hulk Hogan frenzy as an incompetent outdoorsman with a flair for the dramatic, Jessica Garrett tweets and updates and blogs with depth and sensitivity, and seeing Aldo Pantoja at work reminds me how much I missed him since the last time I saw him on stage (I think it was in Eurydice).

Go see it! The Sun was right about this production!

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