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SF Bay Guardian, October 1, 2003

Water Principle has Bite

-- Robert Avila


Shotgun Players present playwright Eliza Anderson's darkly humorous fable of exploitation. In a setting of Beckett-like desolation and purity, a half-starved woman named Addie (Kate Sheehan) lives a hard but fiercely independent life on a plot of desert land coveted by an unctuous neighbor named Weed (John Thomas), a businessman and self-proclaimed "man of action" with Faustian dreams of development under the heading "Weed's Wonderland." Weed will naturally stop at nothing to get the land (whose true value only Addie knows), trying the usual routes of patriarchal and class advantage to that end (marriage, sex, food, lies, guns) without immediate success. Enter archetype number three: a wandering moocher named Skimmer (Ian Petroni) whose more ordinary predatory instincts become an easy tool for a capitalist like Weed, the keeper of the beans. What starts out maybe a little too reminiscent of Samuel Beckett ends a little more like Sam Peckinpah, with dialogue that at its best has a bite to it but often belabors its own significance. The strength of the production lies in a committed cast, who, with director John Warren, do a nice job straddling the decidedly fuzzy line between absurdist nihilism and the moralism of melodrama. (Avila)

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