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BEERTOWN OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS
Opening Night: January 29, 2014
EYE ON THE ARTS
NEW YORK THEATRE REVIEW
Synopsis: 2011 Helen Hayes Award Nominee for Outstanding New Play or Musical. Let your voice be heard! Join dog & pony dc and the citizens of Beertown to celebrate The 20th Quinquennial Time Capsule Day! Which tells the story of your town's history better: a family's bible or a pair of spectacles? A meteorite or a lawn sign? Part Civic Ceremony, part theatrical pageant, then at once a Choose Your Own Adventure / Murder Mystery Dinner Party, Beertown pays homage to small-town America by exploring the dynamic relationship between individuals and their community. You the audience shape the show! Every performance of Beertown begins with a dessert potluck; bring a dessert to share!
NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW:
"A shout-out to whoever brought the brownies to Beertown. They were tasty, as were the butter cookies. I didn’t try the powdered doughnuts or the cake — I was busy getting my souvenir T-shirt — though they looked a bit too sweet. Indeed, there’s so much sweetness in this work at 59E59 Theaters — from the table of treats to the cheery song you’ll sing with your fellow theatergoers — that you may feel queasy from all the sugar."
"You can’t swing a dead cat in Washington without hitting a politician or a lobbyist, as the ensemble-based company dog & pony dc (for District of Columbia) would know. The same is apparently true for New York and eager wannabe actors, as the run of dpdc’s acclaimed devised work, Beertown, at 59E59, is proving. An only half-scripted performance parading as a quaint quinquennial town hall meeting, this spoof of participatory democracy relies on “audience integration” to debate the historic and emotional merits of artifacts under consideration for Beertown’s time capsule."
"It was with a certain amount of existential dread of community meetings that I went into Beertown, an interactive theater piece by the troupe dog & pony dc now playing 59E59 Theaters. Beertown, you see, is structured around a town's municipal meeting during which the mayor and citizens of the (fake) eponymous town discuss the contents of the neighborhood time capsule. Boy, were my trepidations unfounded. Beertown is an invigorating piece that ingeniously constructs and deconstructs the most important tenets of theater itself: community and ritual."
"Pop quiz – which of the following is harder to do well? a) scripted improvisation; b) Self-devised ensemble work; c) Shows dependent on audience involvement; d) All of the above. Actually, it’s a trick question – they’re all equally difficult to do and nearly impossible to pull off when combined. Which makes Beertown, being presented at 59E59 by dog and pony dc, so extraordinary. It’s excellent, engaging, thoughtful theatre and it’s really damn fun."
"A dessert potluck awaits all who enter the theatre to see Beertown, or rather, to attend the 20th Quinquennial Time Capsule Celebration. After collecting your complimentary Quinquennial t-shirt and picking up a “Hello my name is…” sticker, you are invited to get a cup of lemonade and a plate of goodies. It felt like walking into the community center back home, as neighbors and friends greeted each other and swapped gossip. Because the night you see Beertown, you are a citizen of said town, you are not just there to sit in an audience removed from the action onstage. Rather, this is your town and you are invited and encouraged to participate in the ceremony."
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