Monday, October 31, 2011

A Bright New Boise Begins An Apocalyptic Season at Woolly Mammoth

Photo by Stan Barouh
The Woolly Mammoth's new season is devoted to plays about the apocalypse. As readers of this blog know, I'm a big fan of "end days" stories, so I'm happy to be a season-ticket holder right about now.

The first offering is A Bright New Boise, which takes place mostly in a Wal-Mart-like break room at a retail store in Boise named Hobby Lobby. Will, a former member of an evangelical, cult-like church is escaping his dark past by taking a job there.

His real motive is to reconnect with his long-abandoned son, who also works at the store. But, hard as he tries to build a new life and fix his past mistakes, Will finds it hard to break out of his pattern of constantly waiting for that exact moment when the world will end.

Playwright Samuel D. Hunter's story reminds me a little of Wiener Sausage: The Musical!, my own play with writing partner Dan Sullivan. The big-box setting. The philosophical musings on corporations. The misguided characters. The end of the world. These topics are competing in a crowded field these days, so the fact that Hunter and the actors in the Woolly's production do such a great job is testament to the power of this play.

**** out of ***** stars

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