SHOW: The Society
GENRE: Physical theater
GROUP: Jo Strømgren Kompani
ATTENDED: Sept. 6, 8 p.m., Painted Bride Art Center
CLOSES: Sept. 8
BRIEF SELF-DESCRIPTION: “In a European society dedicated to coffee, the shocking discovery of a used teabag threatens to tear the coffee drinkers’ world apart.”
WE THINK: So yeah, you can certainly see The Society and draw symbolic parallels to contemporary culture, relating to xenophobic intolerance to outsiders and how even ordinary folks can be drawn to torture, or, you can just watch and enjoy it as incredibly agile absurdist physical theater. Turning on the simple concept of die-hard coffee lovers' unwillingness to accept a tea drinker in their midst, it's high-concept meets low-brow antics that veers into slapstick Three Stooges territory (that is, if the Stooges were tightly-wound bookish European guys). Speaking in comical made-up French and Chinese sounding dialogue, the trio wreaks ever more outrageous havoc on one another, while also performing comical line dances. Brainy funny skillful stuff.