Octopi Wall Street

ensemble theatre · and/yet/1951 · Ages 12+ · United States of America

world premiere
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July 02, 2019 certified reviewer

What I liked

This play is a fresh approach on the subject of climate change by creatively focusing on a variety of environments and entities affected by the increase in global temperature. I was particularly intrigued with how each entity had a single voice distinctly their own and how the playwright infused commentary without predictable condemnation. Visual elements like small, pink balloons, scuba equipment, vacuumed-packed dolls, videogame controllers, and overhead projection helped create a fun environment. The actors personified the characters enthusiastically, seamlessly going from comedic scene to serious discussion. The glacier’s soliloquy near the end was aptly grave. Final thoughts with the actors on stage out of character neatly reinjected the human element in this entertaining and campy production.

What I didn't like

Some theatrical choices were distracting and took away from the play. The scene where two people discuss the situation over drinks should have been a step back from the more comedic vignettes. Instead, the focus of the action is on a server who keeps interrupting the scene, walking back and forth, in what evidently is a pun about tipping. Over the top flapping and jumping by one of the birds was just plain uncomfortable to watch. Having the scientist don a Russian accent was likewise an unfortunate choice, in an otherwise interesting exchange.

My overall impression

A campy take on climate change where mollusks, birds, algae, barley and glaciers have their say on how global warming affects them. Acted out in lovely vignettes that captures each character’s hilarious and poignant observations. My family attended the last performance and afterwards each of us voiced our favorite section, which truly highlights how this issue resonates differently. The writer’s multi-pronged approach using a variety of settings and visual cues gave both a global perspective and sense of personal calamity.

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