September 17, 2006
MarkBernstein.org
 
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Mee!

Anne Bogart and her SITI gang have a new Charles Mee play at the A.R.T., bobrashenbergamerica. It's fresh out of mothballs, a reflection on America that was originally produced right before 9/11, when everything (or something) changed (or not). In any case, it's back, and it's pretty good.

I think, though, that to write a study of The American Character at this particular moment, when pious Congressmen are debating whether Justice's bare breasts should be hidden and whether torture should be permitted in secret CIA prisons, is to risk being ridiculous. There's a hint of this, perhaps, in one scene in which a character uses an aluminum baseball bat to smash a shiny new garbage can. This is, in any case, an impossible task -- like writing about Germany in 1931 and having the work performed in 1936, or writing about the Republic in 49 BC as Caesar fretted in Spain and having the work performed in 44BC while Antony praised Brutus' honor.