Imagine a theme park where caricatures of other cultures are put on display for the amusement of tourists. Disneyland, you say? Close, but the mouse has yet to take it to the level that Eric Coble does with “Culture Fiesta,” an ethnic theme park in the not-so-distant future. When a Native American performer dies, Henry Carson (Joel Huggins) is sent on a mission by his fast-talking corporate-dragon lady boss, Yolanda (Janet Colson), to find an authentic replacement. Flying over the Western desert with pilot Penelope (Abigail Eiland) and bounty hunter Ernie (Josh Zagoren), Henry finally breaks out of his milquetoast existence when he shoots Zhao (Adam G) from the helicopter with a tranquilizer gun. However, Henry soon discovers that Zhao is not a “real” Native American, and the two become complicit in a quid pro quo scheme. As events play out, the play cleverly satirizes many cultural touchstones, most notably our obsession with technology and vicarious existence. The ending, reminiscent of Mickey Birnbaum’s Big Death and Little Death, contains a few surprises, but feels a bit abrupt and incomplete. Still, Jayk Gallagher’s nimble direction moves the scenes along fluidly, aided by Ian Forester’s wonderfully minimalist set and Josh Cuellar’s creative lighting. Huggins, Zagoren, Adam G and Marie Lively (as Henry’s blog-obsessed homemaker wife) are hilarious in their performances.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: May 23. Continues through June 29, 2008
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