Anne Washburn's stunning play begins in the very near future, after an unspecified apocalyptic event has devastated the country. Without electric power, survivors huddle fireside recalling their favorite episodes of the Simpsons. The 2nd act is set 7 years later, as performance troupes travel the wastelands to entertain survivors with their recollections of classic television shows, commercials, and chart-topping hits, even as they battle for survival. In the final act, some 75 years later, our contemporary pop culture has become the heightened myth and performance of the post-apocalyptic future.
- Director Jon Greene, of co-producer The Radical Buffoon(s), manages the difficult balance between the joyous recounting of the finer points of Simpsons lore with the upheaval that creeps from the edges of darkness toward the center of the stage.
- There’s also a change of performance space, and while the minimalist set of the first part is appropriate, Julian Wellisz and Max Skelton’s relatively lavish Act 3 set is inspired.
- Washburn’s play is an entertaining and quirkily satisfying exploration of living on the edge of disaster. It appropriates popular culture without getting lost in it. Art Klub is an appropriately bare-bones venue for the context of the show. The cast is strong, and the production is polished in its vision and refreshingly scrappy in its low-budget execution.
All Photos by Kate Adair of Hero Photography