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The Extremists

a World Premiere
CATEGORY : DRAMA
by CJ Hopkins

COMPANY : 7 Stages [WEBSITE]
VENUE : 7 Stages [WEBSITE]
ID# 3354

SHOWING : March 28, 2009 - April 19, 2009

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

TV talk show host and guest who authored a book on terrorism get lost in their own doublespeak ... labyrinth of wordplay and mind games


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REVIEWS

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Witty, subversive talking heads in US premiere
by uppermiddlebrow
Sunday, April 5, 2009
3.5
Del Hamilton and Tim Habeger milk CJ Hopkins' script - in its US premiere - of all its self-avowed power to challenge our brainwashed view of the world. Hamilton dominates as a convincingly Cheney-like authority figure - who in subtle twists turns out to be the real subversive - playing against Habeger's genial, unthinking Everyman of a TV host.

Hopkins goes beyond satirizing the inanities of Orange threat levels and reports of unspecified terrorist chatter. He's aiming at the fake democracy of Republicans and Democrats and at the mind control of our ubiquitous, 24/7 media. One has to be pre-disposed to agree with him for the play to work, it seemed to me, because he can't really prove his points any more than happens on any late-night talk-show.

If anti-system notions scare you, only go to Seven Stages if you like to be scared. You wouldn't expect The Sound of Music at this theatre, after all.
You don't have to buy Hopkins' insistence that real change - as in the American revolution - can only come from killing the guys in power. (Though it must have crossed your mind that Wall Street insiders will never really change their ways unless enraged mobs of defrauded 401kers finally set some i-bankers to swing from lamp-posts - my example, not the play's.) Nor do you have to buy Hopkins' defense of post-structuralism. But you do have to have a passing interest in these issues, because the play is an extended dialogue on them, with no action to amuse or distract you.

One minor mystery raised by the script that a serious theatre buff may be able to clear up: did an English actor - maybe Antony Hopkins or Richard Harris - really go nuts on a London stage a couple of decades ago when playing Othello, wipe his makeup off and rant at the audience? [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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