On the way out I told a friend that I just don’t think I have the gene to enjoy this kind of performance. That’s how it feels to me. Plenty of people in the audience loved the show, but I was left with the feeling I’d been watching an improv exercise–performed by a group of talented and enthusiastic people, no doubt, but still. . . I just didn’t see that anything happened here. The older sister did at last get to kiss a girl, but for a born-again that certainly wouldn’t be the end of it, and we didn’t see the end of it. All I could glean of overall shape is that the performance opened and closed with explosions.
I wonder about the “heartland” the TEAM presents here. Those kids weren’t recognizably Midwestern–at least, they didn’t exhibit any of the characteristics that I’ve come to know as Midwestern in the seven years I’ve been living here. Instead, they were just garden-variety hicks, the sort careless persons might imagine living anywhere in the US. In fact they rather reminded me of the stereotyped versions of Southerners that Midwesterners so love to put on. So at one level this performance read as a pretty easy skewering of some straw folks: the Midwestern born-agains, relentlessly ignorant, cloaking their own desires under religious or patriotic language, shopping at Walmart, etc.
Then again, the kids had their moments of nobility, and the Northeastern adults seemed pretty flawed themselves. I don’t know quite what the TEAM are up to here, or how it’s supposed to work on us. It didn’t work on me, at any rate.