Saturday, June 10

The Patriots at P.S. 122

I want to write a review of this show, but I am not sure were to start. But in case anyone is planning to go see it tonight, I thought it was my duty to post something. So here is the letter I sent to P.S. 122 about the show The Patriots.

After seeing Schoolhouse Roxx's The Patriot on Friday night, I myself fill with questions. That is of course what great theater does. I am hoping perhaps you can help me with them or at least forward them to Adam Dugas.

-What sort of criteria does P.S. 122 use to book shows? I can imagine that The Patriots looked interesting when it was a one sentence idea scribbled on a cocktail napkin.

-How much lead time did this show have before opening? Three days? A week? I am assuming it was not more than that. But I am very curious how the company puts together a show so quickly.

-How much money (if any) did P.S. 122 spend on this production? It appears to have gone to flag purchase, which is wise as the flags can be used in the future. 4th of July is coming up!

-How do you set prices for performances? $15 for 45 minutes seems a little steep, but since I was relieved when it was over, I understand that these things are hard to balance.

-I absolutely loved the idea of drawing the entire text from historical documents and records (honestly, I do). I am curious as to the decision to use so few sources. It seemed to me that the Gettysburg Address, Washington's inaugural speech, the Day of Infamy speech, our declaration of war into World War 1, any of a hundred Vietnam era speeches, etc etc, would have fit well in with that idea. But as it appears that it was difficult to creatively use the pieces that were used, perhaps other less obvious choices would be too much to ask. It also would have made the show longer which might have caused the audience discomfort.

-I have no questions about the band as they were quite talented.

-Were the songs drawn from historical documents? I mean beyond the ones that were old chestnuts. It was hard to tell as the lyrics were so simplistic that they may have come from just about anything. Say like a cocktail napkin.

-Was the show supposed to be campy? Or serious? Or both? I am unclear as it didn't seem to achieve either. For example, I couldn't decide if the smoke machine was being used in jest or because it just happened to be lying around.

-I like that the show's message was about as deep as an inflatable kiddie pool. This made the show easy to digest as its viewpoint has been stated simpler and clearer in a thousand other places. Once I got the show's point (after about five minute) I didn't have to pay attention anymore. Bravo!

-The idea to "borrow" the Rumsfeld poetry... ( ) ...was that a commentary on America's consumer culture where ideas are perpetually repackaged... or was the show running short (at 35 minutes) and was used to fill the show to a robust 45 minutes?

I still have a hundred other questions. Thank you for putting on a show that made me think so much in so little time for $1.66 for every 5 minutes. Looking forward to a response,

I want to restate that the band was very good.

UPDATE: P.S. 122 sent me a very nice response. They are good people.