Farce with a Political Bite

The Last Liberal, presented by Dramatic Women. At Center Stage
Theater, Saturday, February 18. Shows through February 25.

Reviewed by Carlos Morton Playwright Bob Potter has written a
thought-provoking play, what he calls “a fable for our times.” Set
in the not-too-distant future (2042), liberals are an endangered
species, hunted down like buffalo by testy, trigger fingered
neo-cons like Dick Cheney. It is a brave new world ruled by a
134-year-old president named “Dubya 3.0” who has been cloned,
played for laughs by Austin Stark, and coached by a trinity of evil
handlers with hilarious names such as Condominia Littlehawk
Chung-Mendoza (Nanci Mendez), Baron T. Scarpia (Brian Hansen), and
Reverend Tommy (Robert Riechel), who is a fascinating blend of
attorney general and chief justice. Good idea — a judge and
executioner in one! The last two card-carrying democrats left in
the land are living on the street, homeless and without jobs. Jeff
(Martin Bell) and Mutt (Tiffany Story), a not-so-happily married
couple, argue as to who can rightfully claim to be “the last
liberal.” They are soon caught up in a dragnet, with one sentenced
to Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, the other to Guantanamo, Cuba. This
leads to an Orwellian situation in which their love for each other
is severely tested. They encounter a mysterious waiter/secret agent
named “Wild Card,” played with sardonic wit and timing by Joseph
Velasco. Add two Valley Girl clones (Brittany Conyers and Marissa
Casados) who will say anything you put in their empty heads, and
you’ve got the makings of madcap farce with a political bite. The
production is nicely complemented by the practical set and lighting
design of Vickie J. Scott, costumes by Ellen McBride Sheppard, and
masks by Ann Chevrefils. My only critique is that the production
seemed static at times, as too often the actors merely stood in one
place and talked. More movement from director Heather Ondersma
would have aided the farcical elements inherent in the script.
Nonetheless, this is an enjoyable play by Dramatic Women
Productions at Center Stage with a provocative comic premise.

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