Robots vs. Fake Robots

In playwright David Largman Murray's clever dark comedy set in the year 6000, it's still the cool kids against the dweebs, only this time, the cool kids are supersmart, superbeautiful robots, while the dweebs are, well, us. In a postapocalyptic world, a physically perfect, godlike race of robots frolics in its own underground city, while its human creators live in squalor on the surface. Dressed in immaculate white suits and looking like living Vogue ads, the robots spend their days re-enacting tableaux of human history while slaughtering errant humans who fall into their lair. Into this world comes Joe (Steven Connell), a ragged human, who dreams of becoming a robot himself. Dumping his doting human girlfriend (the beautifully warm Ida Dervish), Joe sneaks inside the robot city, and, with the Machiavellian assistance of the robot king (Greg Crooks, nicely jaundiced), he becomes the perfect New Model. With its unexpectedly nuanced undercurrents of melancholy and sharp irony, director Emily Weisberg's production possesses a snap that draws us in from its first, dazzlingly choreographed moments. Murray's deft and penetrating dialogue, which boasts both comic timing and perceptive emotional awareness, elegantly focuses the play's theme on the tragedy of unrequited desire. The ensemble, particularly the cast of often unbearably cruel robot beauties, is enthralling — it powerfully depicts the contrast between the glamorous, selfish immortal robots and human despair. Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 7 p.m.; Saturdays, 10:30 p.m. Starts: Feb. 16. Continues through March 8, 2008


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