Wednesday, February 17, 2010

SF Bay Guardian LOVES "The Position"

Critics' Circle member and Glickman Award panelist Rob Avila of the SF Bay Guardian had this to say about PianoFight's "The Position":

From the ready pen of notable local playwright William Bivins comes a witty dystopic thriller too good not to be (essentially) true: In the USA's not-too-distant future, after "the Great Downturn," there's 80% unemployment, the population lives by scavenging, despair is in the water and air, and there are no more dogs (those little four-legged ambassadors of hope).

But there are still one or two job openings in the ultra-powerful, totemic, life-giving corporate universe of The Concern. A recent search has narrowed the candidates down to six (types played to perfection, while imbued with palpable soul, by Kate Jones, Asher Lyons, Gabi Patacsil, Eric Reid, Dan Williams, and Laura Zimmerman). They're flown to an exclusive island, paradisial in its accommodations and distance from dismal American society at large, totalitarian in its panoptic surveillance and haughty obscurantism. Greeted by the icy hot Mrs. Radcliffe (Jessica Cortese) and her deliriously accommodating man-servant Baylian (a joyously loopy Even Winchester)—both nattily futuristic in coordinated turquoise business wear—the candidates find there are no rules but two over the course of the evaluation, and no explanation of what they might be evaluated on.

The contest begins and, in PianoFight's low-budgeted but high-spirited production, it makes no difference how familiar might be the themes or the scenario—very adeptly riffing on classics new and hoary, from "Survivor" and "The Apprentice" to "The Most Dangerous Game"—"The Position" never feels merely derivative, let alone dull or predictable. Instead, it's inspired, rebellious lovemaking with our doom-clouded moment, realized by an engrossing cast unerringly directed by PianoFight's Christy Crowley. Assume nothing, not even "the position," unless it be that of butt-to-seat—this is a great ride.

Discount tix and a chance at free tickets at

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