REVIEWS: ‘Enron,’ ‘Too Many Girls’

enron_6aIf you haven’t said or heard the names associated with the Enron scandal in the decade since it was in the news — Jeff Skilling, Ken Lay, Andy Fastow — the first time they are spoken in Lucy Prebble’s play Enron, now playing at Theatre 3, you react viscerally, the way you might to Goebbles, Himmler or Mengele: The architects of a financial holocaust that popped the American economy in ways that continue to reverberate. It’s a feeling of disgust and curiosity.

It’s odd, that gut muscle memory that causes you to heave ever-so-slightly when you see the dramatization of such boondoggle buzzwords as credit-default swap, derivatives, energy trading, deregulation and even “irrational exuberance.” (The show uses a lot of multi-media elements, including Dow Jones ticker scrolls and audio-visual echoes from the 1990s.) You sense pangs of guilt by association for being in the room with Fastow (David Goodwin) as he shares with Skilling (Chris Hury) his plan to prop up Enron’s stock with a corporate shell game of shell corporations. The audience has the benefit of 20/20 hindsight to know where the plan in headed, but you can’t help but feel contempt for those in the room with them who didn’t say, “What the fuck are you talking about?” It’s as if everyone was too stupid — or too greedy — to call foul on the emperor’s new clothes.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Theatre 3 announces 2012-13 season

Theatre 3, which for 50 years has been run by Jac Alder, pictured, begins its 51st season this summer with a schedule that includes a world premiere and the regionally-produced debut of a queer hit.

The unofficial start of the season is Avenue Q in the downstairs Theatre Too space. A sassy puppet show with adult themes and gay characters, it’s the first time the show has been mounted locally, although the national tour has been through numerous times. Unlike in recent years, this (and the Valentine staple  I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change) are the only shows scheduled for the smaller space. It opens June 29.

The remainder of the seven-show schedule upstairs is as follows:

Present Laughter (Aug. 2–Sept. 1). Gay bon vivant Noel Coward’s witty farce.

Freud’s Last Session (Sept. 20–Oct. 20). An imagined exchange between the atheist father of psychoanalysis and Christian author C.S. Lewis.

Godspell (Nov. 15–Dec. 15). T3′s music director, Terry Dobson, recently met with Stephen Schwartz, who dubbed him one of his “official” arrangers. That will no doubt apply to this revival of the off-Broadway classic musical.

Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo (Jan. 10–Feb. 9). Rajiv Joseph’s recent Broadway hit starring Robin Williams, narrated by a giant cat.

Idols of the King (Feb. 28–Mar. 30). Longtime T3 collaborator Ronnie Claire Edwards debuts her new play about Elvis Presley.

Enron (Apr. 25-May 25). A quasi-musical drama about the notorious collapse.

City of Angels (June 13–July 13). The season closes with the Tony-winning hit about the movie business.

 

 

—  Arnold Wayne Jones