Categories

Eureka Day ~ Mosaic Theater Company of DC at the Atlas Center for the Performing Arts

Jordan Wright
December 12, 2019 

Jonathan Spector’s comedy about a private, liberal grade school in Berkeley, California brings tons of laughs when its politically correct committee of five educators is faced with an outbreak of the mumps.  Among the school’s decision-makers are Meiko, a shy Asian woman in an affair with Eli who is also married; Eli, the eternal organizer, “I think this might be a good moment for a community-activated discussion.”; Carina, an African American mom new to the committee and unafraid to speak out; Suzanne, the deeply passive-aggressive head of the committee, “We have a lot of neuro-diversity here.”; and Don, a Birkenstock-sporting, flow-chart specialist subservient to Suzanne, “I am only here to facilitate,” he defers.  As a group, they are a hot mess – more concerned with heritage designations on enrollment forms and gender-optional pronouns.

Eureka Day Ensemble – Photo credit Christopher Banks

Needing universal consensus to institute an action plan, they vote to Skype in the parents.  But all hell breaks loose when the parents’ divergent views devolve into a virtual live Tweet, scream-fest and medical facts become as disposable as eco-friendly bamboo plates.  Yes, there’s a discussion about that too, when clueless Carina serves snacks on plastic plates.

Eureka Day Ensemble – Photo Credit Christopher Banks

The hot-button issue between those who believe in vaccinating their kids and the anti-vaxxers is utterly hilarious as the video-projected, live feed convos become a caustic maelstrom of name-calling, Pharma-blaming, climate change tirades, Creationism battles, and religious disagreements.  No, wait.  “Disagreement” is too soft a word to describe how the parents go into full-on, personal attack mode.  Sound familiar?  All too familiar in this issue-charged political climate.  Played for laughs we can watch the turmoil from a safe distance while acknowledging how polarizing these issues have become.  Artistic Director, Ari Roth, defines it as, “Progressives Behaving Badly.”

Eureka Day Ensemble – Photo Credit Christopher Banks

Not too long ago this was in the news when it was left to a court to decide.  Should you protect children who are already vaccinated from attending school with those whose parents decide not to vaccinate?  Do you place a quarantine on the school?  For how long, and who decides?  In this clever comedy, and as in real life, some don’t survive these irresponsible decisions.

Andrew Cohen’s set design is purposely innocent – a brightly-lit, colorful classroom lined bookshelves and children’s art – a perfectly neutral spot for adult mayhem especially in the hands of this wildly expressive ensemble.

Eleanor Holmes Norton – Photo credit Christopher Banks

On the night I saw it Eleanor Holmes Norton played a cameo role.  More local notables are on schedule to appear during the run.  Check the schedule.

Highly recommended.  As soon as I left the theatre, I wanted to see it again.

Directed by Serge Seiden with Lighting Design by Brittany Shemuga; Original Projections by Teddy Hulsker; and Projections by Dylan Uremovich.  Originally commissioned and produced by Aurora Theatre Company, Berkeley, CA.

With Regina Aquino as Meiko; Lise Bruneau as Suzanne; Erica Chamblee as Carina; Sam Lunay as Don; Elan Zafir as Eli; and Mar Cox/Thomas Nagata as Winter.

Through January 5th at The Atlas Center for the Performing Arts – 1333 H Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002.  For tickets and information call 202 399-7993 ext. 2 or visit www.MosaicTheater.org.

Comments are closed.