Sunday, July 24, 2011

FFA 1 - SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) - Go, playwright!

Another Fringe-For-All preview that unexpectedly won me over last Monday was

SCOTUS! (Supreme Court of the United States!)

Serious Hedgehog Arts

The reason this was so unexpected was I had pretty much written this one off based on its original show description (wisely now replaced with something else online)...

"It's like The West Wing, if it were about the Supreme Court. And was written by the writers from 30 Rock. And was about a government about as dysfunctional as it is in real life."

So... nothing like The West Wing. OK then.

The cast and director were in rehearsal the night of Fringe-For-All, so the playwright/producer Brandi Brown filled in for them instead ("I'm the writer. I feel like I'm qualified to talk about it, so let's do this."). And talk about the right person for the job. Brandi Brown was charming and very, very funny. It's a pity they didn't post the video for this one because she was a perfect ambassador for her show. I said as much to her afterward as the audience was running the great postcard gauntlet at the end of the evening. Brandi was sort of chiding herself for not getting all of the plot out, but honestly it didn't matter. She was so clever in the way she introduced us to all the characters of the play that I didn't need any further convincing.

About one character - "You know how you want to be an actor, but then you have to take some terrible job to support yourself, like waitressing - or being a Supreme Court justice? That's her. You'll love her. Maybe not."

About another character - "It'll be fine, just get the Constitution out of the shredder."

In addition, there's a stand-in for NPR, called NER (National Elitist Radio) - "They act as a Greek chorus. I hear you people love that sh*t."

In the cast, two who I recognized from previous work were Sandbox Theatre regular Heather Stone, so great in the creepy 2009 Fringe comedy June of Arc, and as Chief Justice, Danielle Siver.

The cast list reveals that the balance of this Supreme Court is tipped more toward the women than the men, and I'm all for an alternate reality where that's the case. I'm very interested in wedging this one into the schedule now as well.

The new improved show description is -

"SCOTUS! (Supreme Court of the United States!) takes a look at the problems facing any new chief justice, especially one hardly old enough to be partner in a law firm: maintaining her idealism, getting her only-slightly-insane colleagues to work together, stopping Wisconsin from repealing the oppressive laws of physics, and is her boyfriend really going to break up with her?

The other justices aren't much help: one is more interested in his acting career than the law, one is more interested in what the Founding Fathers would think than, well, the law, and one won't stop using really, really annoying sports metaphors.

Can the chief justice figure out how to keep the country from falling apart? Does she want to? Can she figure out the other justices' sports and pop culture references? Can she figure out how to make time for her jealous boyfriend? Whatever your politics, everyone can agree on two things: making fun of Wisconsin is fun and the Supreme Court is just messed up."

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