note: entire contents copyright 2006 by Beverly Creasey
The hottest show in town is just across the river. No, no, not in Cambridge. You take the old Prison Point Bridge (across from the Museum of Science) right into Charlestown and voila: You’re at THEATRE ON FIRE in the renovated Charlestown Working Theatre.
Another new theater company, you say? Yes. And if Eric Bogosian’s explosive WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE is any indication of their strength, they’ll be brewing up the best cuppa theater in town.
Founding father Darren Evans has directed a taut, powerful, in your face production starring John Joyce as the two dozen or so characters who bully, berate and bulldoze you into hilarious submission for a lightening short ninety minutes. If you’ve seen any of Bogosian’s other “character” pieces, you know his brand of humor is sharp-tongued, edgy and mesmerizing. Bogosian has performed his own material at the A. R. T. for eons but I have to say, John Joyce makes you think Bogosian wrote this one just for him. Joyce gives a tour de force performance which will have you in convulsions, and just a wee bit ashamed of laughing at other people’s misfortunes.
These are individuals you never want to meet in real life: nasty Maitre-D’s, out of control Hollywood types, and let’s not forget Satan…and these are people you actually have met (and always wanted to spoof but good taste and decorum prevented you): the Deepak Chopra-esque guru, those glib airline toadies, the self-righteous vegan---hey, hey, hey, that one’s a little too close to home, there, Mr. Bogosian. But who wouldn’t love a writer who explains so eloquently why “God is like Lou Reed.” I mean, who hasn’t thought that?
Anthony Phelps’ golden, burning ring of fire (with its lethal, buzz saw corona) is exquisitely lit by Eric Jacobsen. Now, I could go on and on but I’m taking time away from your call to the box office (866-811-4111). The show percolates from March 31 to April 15. Forget those taxes. WAKE UP and get over that bridge.