Sunday, May 15, 2022


Springtime, 2022. In our measured emergence from  the Pandemic, we find ourselves searching for nuance instead of pat answers, and at the same time we need to understand the great, existential issues facing slothkind. Humankind. Whatever.

Author Sam Chanse has given us a remarkable story, a journey through time, space, relationships, maybe the end of the world, maybe not.

We meet four sisters. Erin Mei-Ling Stuart plays Amy, the scientist who studies corals. Corals are bleaching and dying. Amy's sister Mac (Sango Tajima) has moved in with Amy "temporarily," as she recovers from an issue with an ex-boss.

Meanwhile, sister Constance (Rinabeth Apostol), a writer and producer of an animated TV series for children, is fighting with her all-white-all-male co-writers to be less patronizing to women and minorities. The show's cartoon characters are all male sloths, except for one female Superhero sloth. We'll get to her in a minute. 

The fourth sister, Lena is only spoken about, never seen. Her absence and silence is upsetting to the other three.

But we do see Lena as Magdalena, the Superhero Sloth, in a red skirt and motorbike, when the ensemble of four act out episodes of Constance's show, to our great delight, both on stage and in a deliciously cool video backdrop. 

We can't tell you how you're going to feel when the curtain comes down. The corals are dying, the earth is overheating and all relationships end up badly. Men suck, but they perform a function. So do algae in sloth poop. 

On the other hand, the earth can renew itself, sloths know how to attract the proper microbes and sisters, in the end, will always be sisters. 

For me, the message is hopeful.  But I've been in my house for two years.


The San Francisco Theater Blog Awards Division awards "Monument (or Four Sisters (The Sloth Play)" FOUR STARS.  This is a high rating for a show no one should miss. Very special shout-outs to Video Designer Sarah Phykitt and Costume Designer Michelle Mullholland. This show and these actors will stick with you.

"Monument, or Four Sisters (The Sloth Play)"
The Magic Theatre
Fort Mason, Building D.
Through May 29, 2022


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