Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Review of Stage Left Theatre and Red Tape Theatre's Mutt

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Mutt. It was by Christopher Chen and it was directed by Vanessa Stalling. It was about a woman named Hannah (Aurora Adachi-Winer) who was a race advisor for the Republican party. And she recommends this man named Len (Daniel Smith) who was running for president. A lot of people thought he was the perfect Republican candidate because his ancestors were from everywhere around the world. The Republicans (Ian Daniel McLaren and Mary Williamson) hope he will change everything so they won't have to have any more meetings about race, which they think are stupid. There is also another candidate named Nick (Michael Reyes) who really wants to talk about race in an actual way. But he isn't very good at it. Hannah chooses Len but then she gets fired for dumb reasons. So she decides to become Nick's campaign manager. There are a lot of unexpected twists. This show was all about how politics can go wrong all the time. It is about how politics can't solve all our problems. The play shows you that you can't just think about race, you have to think about personality because if you get somebody to be president who will be a bad president, it doesn't matter what race they are. I liked how the acting was over the top in a great way and how each bit of comedy was connected in some way to earlier scenes.

The Democrats and Republicans are very similar in this show. They were played by the same actors (McLaren and Williamson) which of course made them very similar, but both of them were equally dumb. They both didn't know how handle the government, so they had to say they knew what to do when they didn't. I thought that it was a really interesting choice; it made me think, do they have a lot of similarities in real life? I don't think they have as many similarities in real life as in the show, but they do still have some. I thought that was cool and it made me think about politics. I thought it was a very smart decision to make the Democrats and Republicans equal for once, which usually doesn't happen in a play about politics. I think the writer probably is a Democrat, but he has problems with Democrats as well as Republicans. In the show, Nick wants to be a Democrat instead of a Republican because he wants to feel good about himself. It is kind of true that Democrats are usually depicted as happy with their choices, which can mean they get nothing done.

Comedy emphasizes the way the writer feels about a certain topic. He will make a joke about a certain type of person or thing and that, to me, showed his opinion. Like when the Democrat guy could only say middle class, I thought that was funny. But it also showed you the way that Christopher Chen felt about the way Democrats only think about the middle class and that he didn't like that. Also, everybody was always falling in love with Len and that was very funny because they always went insane when he would walk by like he was Justin Bieber and not a politician who could barely talk. The point is that people will follow someone even if he or she has no idea what they are doing if they think he or she is cute. We don't always choose our politicians in the best way, which would be to see who the politicians are and find who you agree with more and vote for them.

I really liked the therapy scene where Nick is going to therapy and his therapist (Alejandra Vivanco) is like the worse therapist in the world. She was super terrible because she said, "Im not here to listen to you or help you with any of your problems." That is exactly what a therapist should do, and that just shows how Nick would not be a good president since she can fool him. I found the scene hilarious and I couldn't stop laughing. I also loved the witness scenes where this detective (McLaren) is investigating about this serial killer and the witnesses are all played by the same person (Nicole Michelle Haskins). And she would put on all these big characters. My favorite was when she played a choir lady and she sang every single note like Mariah Carey. It was amazing and I loved it.

People who would like this show are people who like comedy, thinking about politics, and singing witnesses. I had a lot of fun at this show and I liked all the over-the-top comedy!

Photos: Tom McGrath

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