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THE ANTIPODES Road Less Traveled Productions/RLTP Theatre
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Jan 26, 2020, 23:49
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Through February S
THE ANTIPODES Road Less Traveled Productions/RLTP Theatre

Annie Baker’s “The Antipodes” is more of a series of audition monologues than a coherent play.
It’s entertaining and worth seeing for those monologues, like Cassie Cameron’s Sarah’s description of life as a stepdaughter in a “Cinderella”-like family.
There’s also John Hurley’s Danny M1’s description of the aftermath of an affair, which drew laughter from a large part of the audience.
I cringed at his monologue.
The story apparently revolves around the second season of a TV show, which the apparent producer, Sandy (Sean Cullen), has to define, with use of the writers, assembled on the set which is apparently some TV show writer’s room.
We don’t know anything about the actual TV show.
What we do know is the decision by the personally-camouflaged Sandy that the next season will spin off from personal details of the writers, of their deepest fears, of their personal sex lives and troubled family histories.
It all reminded me of one of those “envisioning” exercises I recently went through.
We learn a lot about the writers and not much about Sandy but we never learn if all of these stories can be spun into a television series.
The writers have stories to tell, including the writer who leaves and disappears.
The monologues are filled with all of the politically correct versions of telling stories and some humblebragging.
The cast of the writer’s room would also bring criticism, one woman and one minority.
These actually are people with stories to tell, just not, seemingly, material for a coherent TV show.
As they talk and talk and are watched by Sandy, Sarah bustles in and out, with messages, with food and with her one, claimed, story.
And, she shows off a wardrobe which changes every time she comes into the room.
It’s all a little strange.
Most TV shows and especially comedies have writers’ rooms which have reputations as boys’ clubs, not always friendly to women or minorities.
Here, the writers are supposed to provide the material for Sandy to escape the calls he’s getting from higher-ups in the business.
“The Antipodes” is worth seeing for those monologues and for what it tells us about how modern entertainment creates new.
It’s scary.
Director Scott Behrend has some strong performances to work with, like Cullen, Cameron, Hurley and David Hayes, all on Lynne Koscielniak’s set, with a funky boardroom vibe.
Go and be entertained by “The Antipodes.”

A.W.

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