Saturday, May 5, 2012

Review of After the Revolution at Next Theatre

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called After the Revolution.  It was about a law student named Emma (Christine Stulik) who had just graduated and her grandpa was a spy but her father Ben (Mick Weber) didn't tell her that, so she was angry at him.  It is a comedy but a romance but a drama because it has so many different emotions.  Sometimes it is a romance with a boyfriend (Marvin Quijada) and sometimes there is a funny old person.  And sometimes it is a daughter not talking to her father who is trying to explain.  And sometimes it is a girl talking to her sister who is gay (Dana Black).  I think they put all these different kinds of emotions in it because it will have different impacts on different people.  For example, somebody could not like comedy, but then they would have the romance and the drama instead and they would like that and backwards.  If you like happy happy sing a merry song, you will not like this play.  But if you like drama a lot you will really like this, which I double do.  If you are a grown up, it will make you remember what it was like being young.  It is fun and exciting; and you are new in the world, and you are learning new things, and you get hyped up about things that your parents didn't tell you before.  And if you are young, it will make you know what is going to happen in the future; you are going to think differently and fight for things differently.

I thought that the first scene with Monty (Mike Nussbaum) was funny. I liked how he wanted to go on a date with Emma's step-grandmother, Vera (MaryAnn Thebus).  I call her her step-grandmother because she is her father's step-mother.  They way Vera said "I'm not going to go on a date with you" was "I don't think so" but she wasn't there, Monty was just telling Emma about it.  It is kind of strange to say I want to go on a date with your grandmother to somebody when they are talking about business.  The business is to help people who want to make the world a better place who are arrested for it get out of jail.   Monty wants to make the world a better place for him by going on a date with Emma's grandmother. But he also wants to give all his money to the Joe foundation.  Joe is Emma's spy grandpa.  They didn't know that he was a spy when they made the foundation.

There was a part that I liked where the uncle (Phil Ridarelli) was talking to the father and he said "Where's Emma?"  And then the stepmother (Tasha Anne James) comes in and says "She went out to get some fresh air. " And then the uncle said, "Getting some fresh air for my kids means going out and smoking."  And then the parents say together "Emma doesn't smoke." But she does.  I think it is important to the play because Emma is lying.  She does smoke.  And the father is lying to her by saying "Grandpa was loyal to his country."  They think that it will be better for the other person if they don't know about it. It isn't better; it is worse because people don't like it when somebody lies to you about your family.  Like if your grandma says your grandpa worked in a candy factory when he actually worked in a blacksmith's shop.  Then you would get your hopes up that he could make candy, but all he could really do is repair and melt metal.

I liked the scene with the sister Jess (Dana Black) where she told Emma that the father had told her that grandpa was a spy four years ago. I really liked how Emma was so surprised and how the sister was like, "not a big deal" because she is like somebody who believes that everything is just cool and relaxing.  She was a drug addict and she took bad drugs and that is not good because that could get you arrested.  Like if you sell them.  If you really like drugs and you open up a store, you could get arrested.  She could ruin the foundation by people figuring out her sister is a drug addict.  They only defend people who mean well, but her sister didn't mean well.  She just took drugs because she thought they were fun.  But they are not.  At all.  Some drugs can even kill you.  You do still like her because she seems like a nice sister when she's not taking drugs, but she is also a little mean to her community.

I thought the scene at the end was confusing because why would the end of the play have such a weird line at the end, which was Vera saying "I still think you should change it."  The lights went out and I thought," it must be the beginning of another scene."  But it wasn't, which was strange.  Maybe the director (Kimberly Senior) and the playwright (Amy Herzog) want it to be like one of those fairy tale books where you get to choose the ending.  You would be choosing between "She gets back her boyfriend and everything is great and good and her sister doesn't go back to drugs at all and Monty gets to go on a date with Vera and the foundation keeps its name and Ben and Emma make up" and the bad ending is "Her sister goes back to drugs and Emma and Ben still don't like each other very much and her boyfriend never comes back to her and Monty and Vera never get to go on a date."  I always go with the good ending.

People who would like this show are people that like law school, history, and people named Monty going on dates.  I don't think kids would enjoy this as much as grownups, so I think grownups should mostly see it.  I think people should see it because it is fun and gives you a peek into history. 

Photo: Elissa Shortridge

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