Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Defiant by George Brant, Debutantes and Vagabonds, February 25 - March 13

Defiant by George Brant Debutantes and Vagabonds

George Brant's Defiant is bleak and stupid.

There, after chewing on it for a week, I have spit it out. Not happily, because this gives me an unbroken record of writing negative reviews about this theatre ensemble. Of the four of their productions I've tracked to date, I missed A Brilliant Revolution and The Virgin with 10,000 Arrows, both of which got respectful reviews. After seeing their May 2009 evening of short works under the title Are You Alive? which featured entr'acte music by The White Ghost Shivers, I wrote, This evening was a predictable success for music and a huge disappointment for theatre.

Brant's piece is non-reflective agitprop. He's either willfully wrong-headed or simply not connected with the society that he's criticizing or satirizing.

Brant's website notes that he received a master's in writing from the Michener Center, so one assumes that the Debs and Vags met him in that connection.

Premise: an unexplained major national catastrophe killed many citizens, and the government has decided to compensate their families and to build a towering memorial. An earnest government accountant has been writing daily to Ann Martin, surviving spouse of one of them. She refuses to have anything to do with the undertaking -- either with the compensation or with the memorial. Twist: unless she checks the box and signs on the dotted line, none of the other beneficiaries gets a cent and the memorial will not be built.

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