Tuesday, July 5, 2022


"We've just adapted to the suckage," says 20-year-old Zoe, as she tries to explain to her parents why the world seems so bleak to her generation. "We've never gone to an airport without taking off our shoes," she says. Zoe, played to perfection by Alicia M. P. Nelson, is fed up with feeling fed up. She may change the world, unless she slips into a time portal, several of which are conveniently located onstage.

Michael Gene Sullivan (with Marie Cartier)'s 2022 Mime Troupe vehicle "Back to the Way Things Were" is one of the troupe's best in a long time. And it has been a long time -- remember the Pandemic? The Troupe's live performances were suspended for several seasons, but they're back with a bang. Funny, dangerous, silly, revealing and hopeful, sort of, in a Eugene V. Debs rides the Mad Hatter's Teacups kind of way, this is what the Mime Troupe always does so well: we sing along, hiss the villains and cheer the heroes. Sometimes they hit close to home, like the song "Cooked Alive," about our future, which shouldn't be funny, but is.

The other four actors play multiple roles. They are all standouts, but especially Lizzie Calogaro's understanding Alice, Andre Amarotico's slime-ball Milies, Keiko Shimosato Carreiro's bewildered Book (both her parents were librarians) and Norman Gee's Ralph and Herbert. Daniel Savio's songs are fine, the cast often sings in tune, the sound system is adequate and the audience in Dolores Park still yields the occasional flower child-now-grandmother who strolls to the stage tossing flowers, until the security guard escorts her to the rear. 

July 4 is just July 3 without the Mime Troupe. Welcome back, friends.


The San Francisco Theater Blog's Sub-Agency for Live Performances On National Holidays awards "Back to the Way Things Were" THREE STARS. This is a delightful return for San Francisco's most classically irreverent company. If you missed them here, they play around the Bay Area for most of the summer, with two final performances back at Dolores Park on Sept. 4-5.



Various venues throughout the Bay Area: See SFMT.ORG

Through Sept. 5


(Donations enthusiastically accepted)

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