Couch-surf theater

Boxcar takes Edward Albee's The American Dream on the road (sort of)
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PREVIEW No sooner do they settle into their snug and versatile new alley roost on Natoma Street than the people at Boxcar Theatre go itinerant again. The company, founded just a few years back on valiantly environmental productions set aboard moving buses (2006's 21/One) or on the sands of Baker Beach (2006's Zen), is spending the holiday season couch-surfing its production of Edward Albee's The American Dream in a series of private living rooms around the Bay.

Fair enough. This early one act — a scathingly trenchant satire of quote-unquote American family values — is as personal and autobiographical an assault on the hollow mores and manners of a vicious culture as anything Albee ever penned: it's almost like it never left home in the first place. The cozy parable of Mommy, Daddy, and Grandma — plus special guest: a mysterious young man the spitting image of a son they once adopted and destroyed — unfolds proudly and loudly in a strikingly absurdist key while laying the groundwork for more intricate creations/dissections in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962) and A Delicate Balance (1966). Like the teen who calls the fam out on all its bullshit, it's a play the author himself described as "a stand against the fiction that everything in this slipping land of ours is peachy-keen." Who says you can't go home again?

THE AMERICAN DREAM Fri/12, 7 and 8:30 p.m.; Sat/13 and Dec. 19 and 20, 7 p.m. $25. Various Bay Area living rooms; call for location. (415) 776-1747, www.boxcartheatre.org.

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