Were not sure how our nations founders defined patriot, but in the past few decades a group of (mostly) men has mutated the word to mean person whos blindly devoted to right-wing policy and to hell with San Francisco. But we know that love of country is a more complex affair. It involves looking at all aspects of the nation, the light as well as the shadow, the glory as well as the horror, with the aim to expose and change whats shadowy and horrific. By that definition, the ideal embodiment of patriotism is the San Francisco Mime Troupe, a pack of politically absurdist performers who not only expose the shadow and horror but laugh in its collective face. In the mid-1960s, they blindsided Jim Crow in A Minstrel Show, or Civil Rights in a Cracker Barrel. Before the 2008 presidential election, they shook fear and hatred by the lapels in Red State. After the economic meltdown, they bankrupted the financial sector in Too Big to Fail. Now they look at what it takes for an arts group to get by in (they say its no longer a) recession in 2012 The Musical! In the play, theres this small theater troupe, you see, and its politically motivated. Its members, however, wonder whether they should keep trying to change the world through their performances or be the mouthpiece for the Man by accepting corporate commissions. They get an offer by a so-called green company to make a play. But what is the purpose of the production? And who is putting up the money? Can a politically minded troupe sell out just a little bit? Count on the Mime Troupe to find out.
Mondays, Saturdays, Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: July 2. Continues through July 4, 2011