Last night I saw the play at Cal Poly. It was a physical political comedy, exaggerated and funny. The actors really did well with it. I always admire actors who are comfortable with extreme physicality, and that seemed to be the case here. No timidness. Two of the men were played by women, prompting me to wonder, were there not enough men in the play? Or did they just think it would be good to have women playing men? I somehow think the latter. The whole thing was so outrageous that having these young, small women marching around in men's suits and strange wigs seemed fitting.
The set was good, a mock marble police office in Italy, with a wide window that looks out onto another "building". The theme of the play is the investigation into the death of a suspected anarchist, who went out a fourth-story window in the police building. It's based on a true incident that happened in Italy in the 30s.
The English translation that we saw (the play was written in Italian) was interlaced with references to our recent political past, making it anachronistic as well as funny. The portrait of the president was one of Bush; some of the other "political candidates" marching through (photos pasted on the head of sticks) included Michael Jackson and Martha Stewart.
The play featured a "Greek chorus", a group of four - I think there were four - men and women who mostly pantomimed. One of the group, a small hawk-faced man, let out streams of invectives and explanations in Italian. I had to believe he actually speaks Italian, he was so good at it. Chorus members entered the audience more than once, and after the break they went after one audience member, dragging her out the door. She yelled, "Stop it! Leave me alone!" as they dragged her out. Just couldn't get with the program.
Funny funny show. The review in New Times is good, but the audience last night was not large. Maybe next weekend.