by Robert Avila for SF Bay Guardian
We Won't Pay! We Won't Pay!
Eighth Street Studio, 2525 Eighth St, Berk;
(510) 704-8210. $10-25. Thurs-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 7pm. Through Oct 19. Italian
prankster-playwright Dario Fo made a funny Nobel laureate in 1997. He
the opportunity to do what he does best: tell a joke and the truth.
speech was ebulliently silly but also a serious plea for the importance
laughter, irreverent laughter in the face of authority. Shotgun Players
continues its thoughtful response to the timbre of the times with Fo's
rollicking comedy about the working poor, We Won't Pay! We Won't Pay!
Antonia (Katjah Rivera) joins the neighborhood women in raiding the
supermarket amid increased gouging from all quarters, but she and best
friend Margherita (Andrea Day) must hide the results from their conformist
husbands, Giovanni (Clive Worsley) and Luigi (Ian Petroni), who meanwhile
get downsized at the Fiat plant. Add a couple of cops and an undertaker
(Kevin Kelleher) and stir vigorously. The result is revolt à
la Fo, an
answer to the hunger for dignity. Director Rebecca Novick knows the
for the madness Fo uses to make his eminently rational points, and she
localizes the story a bit, too. If performances are uneven and the timing
not always there, there are magic moments in this worthy production
takes its comedy seriously. (Avila)
Review can be seen online in the theatre listings here: