Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Review of Mr. Burns at Theater Wit

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Mr. Burns. It was by Anne Washburn; the score was by Michael Friedman and the lyrics were by Anne Washburn. It was directed by Jeremy Wechsler and the music director was Andra Velis Simon and the choreographer was Brigitte Ditmars. It was about this giant disaster in America and how the people survived after it and they all try to keep themselves happy by remembering and performing episodes of The Simpsons. I really liked this show. It was bittersweet but also funny and it was definitely scary too. It makes you think a lot about how you could prevent this electricity disaster from happening, about what people are forced to do when they are forced from their homes, and how television can make people happy and remember all the good things that happened.

I thought that the first act was one of the more sad acts because it was right after the disaster had happened, but it was still heartwarming. It started out with a bunch of people sitting around a fire summarizing a Simpsons episode. Matt (Daniel Desmarais) and Jenny (Leah Urzendowski) were the main summarizers and the other people, Maria (Christina Hall) and Sam (Andrew Jessop), would be adding on to what the other people say. I think that is showing how much The Simpsons were a part of these people's lives and how they made them feel at home. I think that is heartwarming to show how much The Simpsons have impacted the world. This act was sad because everyone doesn't really know if their family is alive or dead. And there is this woman (Hannah Gomez) crying in the corner with a doll and you think that that was probably her daughter's doll. When Gibson (Jeff Trainor) comes along with his booklet, and they are trying to find out what parts of their families are safe, he doesn't really have information for them. When Maria started crying, because it is so uncertain and it is terrible not to know, I started crying. But they all comfort each other by talking about The Simpsons, and Gibson remembers a part they couldn't figure out which was that they were singing "Three Little Maids from School" and he starts singing songs from Mikado and HMS Pinafore. And then it makes you feel more hopeful.

Act two was one of the more funny acts. It took place in a tv-studio-like theater. They are making a Simpsons show and two commercials. They were rehearsing for their show. I really liked the part when the loving husband (Trainor) said to his wife (Leslie Ann Sheppard) a line about what she wanted to do and he said it the way the director (Gomez) had told him to and then he just glares at the director. Also in this act, they had this really strange commercial for a car where they would break into a song and somebody else would break into a different song and everybody tore off their clothes and they were in rock & roll outfits. And I thought that was pretty funny. When the loving husband jumped up onto the car and started singing, it was so funny because it was just so very cheesy and he just hopped up on the front of the car and started pounding his chest. It was so weird; I loved it! They are keeping the entertainment and the laughs going even after such a hard time. You can tell that they are still not great because they still don't have the same technology as they used to and everyone has to walk around with guns so they can protect themselves.

The third act was the saddest act most definitely because in the first act The Simpsons was such an important part of the survivors' lives, and in the third act all the characters from The Simpsons are going through really hard times in this performance that is being put on in the future. The most horrible thing is when Maggie stops crying. If you go and see the show, you'll know what I mean. I find it so hard to see characters that I have seen on tv and that everyone knows and loves be in a tragedy. Like characters, even if you know they aren't real, if you see them die in a show it is still really horrible for you because you feel like you know them so well. I think that the third act was showing the people who were descendants of the survivors what happened during the disaster, like metaphorically kind of. It was saying how terrible it was and how lucky they were it hadn't happened to them. And we should remember the people who died as heroes. I think it is kind of being a message to us about like World War II and how we should remember those people. The playwright is not like a fortune teller, but she is trying to show what could happen and how we should prevent it.

People who would like this show are people who like The Simpsons, cheesy commercials, and funny scary stories. I think that people should definitely definitely go see this show. It is closing soon, so go get your tickets!

Photos: Charles Osgood

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