peteg's blog - noise - theatre - 2014 11 21 TheatreUnspeakable AdventureStage TheAmericanRevolution

Theater Unspeakable: The American Revolution presented by Adventure Stage at the Vittum Theater.

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$20.00 = $17 + $3 "convenience charge". I've walked and cycled past this theatre (near the corner of Milwaukee and Noble) so many times, and the strong recommendation from the Reader brought me to this. While I was waiting in the foyer, I hear a child who is asked to write something he holds to be self-evident on the board say "you're never too old to go to school." I also hear a parent trying to explain that onerous taxation justifies bloodshed to another child.

This production assumes more familiarity with the revolution than I had, which rendered some it quite opaque. I did learn that some of the native Americans lined up with the Brits, and that Washington freed his slave William Lee after passing himself. The American colonial army seems to owe a lot to a Prussian general, who was presented histrionically, somewhat evoking the world-famous German warmakers of the twentieth century. Intentional? I don't know. The French were foppish froggy clowns, familiar from ... well, any Ameican cartoon that refers to the French. The English generals were closer to the mark, desultory and misguided. King George was made into two people, which was both funny and apposite.

The acting was fantastic, physical with some effective mime technique, all crammed onto a tiny table that brought welcome constraints to the production according to the actors in the discussion afterwards. I really liked the flag hung from the front of the table: the Union Jack in the centre bleeding into the Stars and Stripes at the ends.