(Angela Santillo, Zac Jaffee -- who isn't actually in the cast --, Jessica Unker, and Benjamin Stuber in the foolsFURY production. Photo by Richard Horatio Nelson.)
My review of Port Out, Starboard Home, or POSH, by foolsFURY, was critical, and in hindsight I wonder if I held the show to too lofty a standard. I had two main criticisms: 1.) that the show took potshots at an easy subject (cruise passengers) and 2.) that the plot's central event wasn't as interesting as the initial development and the denouement. While I don't question my second criticism, I wonder if my first was unfair. I've seen many shows that mocked other sitting ducks -- film noir, 1940s football musicals, Lindsay Lohan -- and I didn't level the same criticism. But I think what let those other shows off the hook was that they were campy. In other words, they ridiculed and loved their subjects; with their exaggerated style, they let me know to not take them completely seriously, which opened them to criticism even as they criticized. POSH takes itself much more seriously. It puts itself in a superior position to what it criticizes -- mai tai-swilling vacationers -- which made me think, "What's next? A satire of Republicans?"
I also wonder if I was more critical because of the venue. Every time I see a show at Z Space, the artistic toast of the town is there, too -- folks whose work I admire and to the best of my ability seek out. That I respect many members of the audience might have made me hold the work to a higher standard.
Followers in New York, the show is coming to your neck of the woods in a couple of weeks; if you see it, let me know what you think!
In San Francisco, POSH continues through Sept. 22; info here.