Friday, July 5, 2019

San Francisco Mime Troupe: Treasure Island: ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼

Watching a new San Francisco Mime Troupe show on the Fourth of July in Dolores Park is a San Francisco tradition. Since it is the first show of the season, and an outdoor show is always a challenge, especially with sound quality, the July 4 performance can be sketchy. But not this year.

"Treasure Island" arrives with the wind at its back. It is as entertaining a Mime Troupe show as we have seen in many years. Michael Gene Sullivan is back writing the shows, along with Ellen Callas and Marie Cartier, and their witty slap-shtick is as sharp as ever. Sullivan also stars in a variety of roles, along with Lizzie Calogero, Keiko Shimosato Carreiro, Andre Amarotico and Brian Rivera.

As always, the political vibe is everpresent. Modern-day pirates, now known as developers, attempt to kehaul the political process as they rape the system and pillage the populace, using the phrase that politicians love best: "Affordable Housing."

Half the pleasure of a Mime Troupe show is audience-watching. It being San Francisco, after all, one still hears cries of "Pass the guacamole" and "Who wants more burrata?" while the actors are railing about the excesses of capitalism. But you cannot beat the open-air feeling and exuberance of this company. After sixty years they are better than ever.

Arrrr, ye fireworks be damned. The Fourth of July (and the rest of the summer) belongs to the Mime Troupe.

RATINGS ☼  ☼  ☼  ☼ 

The San Francisco Theater Blog Awards Division happily strikes a blow for the people by awarding "Treasure Island" Four Stars. We loved the music, acting, direction and, above all, the perception that all of us sitting on blankets in a public park can still make a difference if we stay together. The wreckage that has surfaced in Washington will not last forever. Hopefully the Mime Troupe will.

A special shout-out for the song: "How Will We Survive" by Michael Bello and Daniel Savio. Savio? This all just keeps getting better.

San Francisco Mime Troupe: "Treasure Island"
Various parks throughout the bay area
For dates and locations see SFMT.ORG
(But you can buy a t-shirt)

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