Through September 28
CATCH-22 Manny Fried Playhouse/Subversive Theatre
This production of Joseph Hellerís ďCatch-22Ē play isnít the best Subversive Theatre has ever done.
The basic material of Hellerís novel which he turned into this play is ideal for the Subversive agenda, a look at the madness of war and the increasing madness with which Yossarianís (Connor Maxwell) bomber squadron is flying into the lethal sky over World War II Italy.
Yossarian recognizes how insane it all is, how the military chain of command continues to require the crews to fly ever more missions, killing more and more flight crews.
Inevitably, that means fewer and fewer of them will survive the war.
Then, he falls into the pit of Catch-22, that he canít be crazy because he wants to stop flying and being crazy is the only way he will leave flight status and the war.
Heller says itís all based on the flying unit in Italy he served in during World War II.
Much of the story revolves around Yossarianís quest to stop flying and the military systemís need for the bombers to keep flying.
Heís surrounded by military lifers, a doctor who is over the hill and a chaplain who just wants to get home to his wife.
Itís all humorous and pointed and devastating.
Not here, with director Kurt Schneiderman taking a comic novel and turning it into a farce.
The material is so good and so accurate, he doesnít need to stage occasional Commedia dellíarte on the Manny Fried stage.
Much of the story revolves around male quest for females, even the nurses who try to keep the pilots and the planes in the air.
There is also the attraction of Italian women in Rome, since the war has slowly moved up the boot, past the Eternal City.
There is also the quest for power, as the commanders try to improve their metrics to improve their chances of promotion, climbing the pile of bodies and shot-down planes.
Joseph Heller and Yossarian deserve better than this.
Director Schneiderman has some good performances, including Maxwell, Jack Aguliaroís Chaplain and Jessie Millerís multiple roles.
Maybe ďCatch-22Ē gets better in later weeks.
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