| ||When Pigs Fly|
It isn't easy to make dialogue heavy with Marxist theory interesting, funny or…interesting. But playwright Bill Bivins manages to do just that and at times figures out how to make it humorous. Bill's play The Apotheosis of Pig Husbandry closed this weekend at SF Playhouse.
I went Friday night to catch the play and see my friend Chad who played Assy (that's right, Assy), short for Asuncion, a Chicano Marxist with plans to over throw the pig farmer who's business has polluted the ground water and the air. I can imagine that smell. For a few years before I moved to SF I lived in a town next to a Tyson factory and they hardly turned on their fans so when the wind blew just right you got a face full of a weird smell, but that was no where as bad as the mayonnaise factory near Austin College (in Sherman, TX, not in Austin, TX). That was so wretched the university bought the factory and closed it down.
But Assy doesn't have university money, but he does have a plan which involves seducing the pig farmer's trophy wife, handcuffs, his treatise entitled The Apotheosis of Pig Husbandry and a gun.
The safe word is "chicharrón."
Madeline H.D. Brown and Chad Deverman. Photo by Nina Ball
First, I'm sorry I didn't go see this play before closing weekend. I wish I could have seen it sooner so anyone reading this post could have had the chance to check it out for themselves. So I guess I'll try and describe it in enough vivid detail to recreate it a bit for you in your mind's eye.
Second, bravo on the set design. SF Playhouse's second stage is a small space. Seats about 50 folks and despite the small stage area the designer created 2 separate levels. The top level, about a foot above the floor was the motel bedroom where Lola, the aforementioned trophy wife, spends most of her time on the bed (sometimes in handcuffs). And the second level is the motel's office or bar where Assy serves only one drink: "the pissed off son of a bitch" which is a mixture of whiskey and tequila.
Third, bravo to the actors. I went to see my friend Chad Deverman (who played Assy), but I was delighted to see two other actors I've never seen before: Madeline H.D. Brown and Keith Burkland. As Lola, Madeline was sexy, playful, demanding and at times haunted by the possibility of returning to a life of poverty. And Keith played Charles, the pig farmer who's more annoyed with Assy than intimidated by him. Keith gave Charles a charisma that makes you believe he could sell ice to an Eskimo. And Chad, despite a chest cold last Friday, was still the charming and idealistic Assy who was conflicted by his ideals, his love for Lola and the past he couldn't let go.
Fourth, that reminds me, I need to email Bill and tell him I enjoyed the play.
And I did enjoy the play. It's not easy to incorporate Marxist or social justice theory into plot lines, but Bill did just that. And the story had a few buried secrets which disrupted Assy's world view.
So again, congrats to Bill on his production and to SF Playhouse and the actors for a great performance Friday evening.
| ||Posted 6/14/2010 2:05 PM - 3120 Views - 0 eProps - 0 comments|
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