To the San Francisco Mime Troupe, whose new show Damaged Care spoofs the frustrating, labyrinthine process that is managed health care, we say: We can relate. This is the show for anyone whose health plan ever suggested a support group when antibiotics were in order, and for those patient souls who endured monthlong waiting lists for PCP -- or, rather, a PCP. Forgive us for forgetting that PCP stands for "primary care physician," not a hallucinogen. In the Mime Troupe's "nouveau commedia nightmare," one ailing sap and his overworked nurse confront shrinking staffs, tighter schedules, and cost-cutting maneuvers at every step in the recovery process, which takes place in the fictional institution Bologna General. The troupe spoke with actual doctors, nurses, social workers, and hospital employees, and used their real-life horror stories in the creation of its 36th annual summer show. Bruce Barthol and Liberty Ellman crafted original songs for the piece, which features Ed Holmes as the heavy, Dr. Capitano, the CEO of the for-profit corporation that has privatized the hospital. Care, the latest Mime Troupe skewering of rapacious corporate greed (last year's anti-downsizing number was Killing Time, about temp workers), begins with live music at 1:30 p.m. Saturday and the performance at 2 p.m. (also Sunday) in Dolores Park, Dolores at 18th Street, S.F. Admission is free, but donations are accepted; call 285-1717 for a schedule of additional performances throughout the summer. For more information on events celebrating the American pursuits of life, liberty, happiness, health, and free speech, see our Fourth of July events calendar on Page 34.
-- Heather Wisner