The Foundry Theatre presents 'O, Earth,' new play inspired by Thornton Wilder's 'Our Town,' which looks at the 'town' created in the space of trans, queer, and gay politics. More…
Portia de Rossi stares into the soft light of her refrigerator and wonders if she'll ever be truly happy; 'Our Town's' Emily and George venture into the unknown; Thornton Wilder digs in search of a time capsule he buried under the stage long ago; Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera are jettisoned from the world of the dead, curious to discover what's happened in the world they left...
'O, Earth' floods the stage with a panorama of characters from gay popular culture, theatre history, and radical New York City, to ask how we live as ourselves and in communion with others. An interrogation of the 'universal,' Casey Llewellyn's epic play imagines the boundless possibilities within everyone, every day.
"An absolute avalanche of lovely things…Confident, lyrical, hilarious, unabashedly literate and unapologetically political. It also holds the Wilder text as gently as a robin's egg…It’s funny enough to make you actually shout and drop your notebook…Thanks to the Foundry's impeccable production, you may also find yourself appreciating each performer…A basically flawless staging of the text…What a thrill it is to see a show that reaches out to Wilder's genius—and actually touches it." Full Review
"A genuine, skillful, and joyful adaptation of Thorton Wilder’s 'Our Town'... 'O, Earth' is a drop everything, must-see show… I honestly can’t say enough how much I loved my time spent with Casey Llewellyn’s charming, insane, and brilliantly crafted 'O, Earth'… I laughed. I cried. I danced. 'O, Earth' is a celebration that only good theater can reward us with." Full Review
"The production is a cathartic revisiting and revitalizing of Wilder’s text…But it is above all a production that is very much of and for our times, with a sly sampling of media tropes, an irreverent impatience with canons and conventions and a shot-across-the-bow discussion of LGBT rights, by a cast and crew for whom these are not abstract issues…Though 'O, Earth' treads a fine line between punchy entertainment and preachy didacticism, the Foundry’s argument cannot be denied." Full Review
"A play that demands we notice who still gets left out of our narratives...Ms. Llewellyn and her director, Dustin Wills, have supplied 'O, Earth' with plenty of silliness and surreality, making a sparkling, jagged mishmash of time and place...Poignant and funny, 'O, Earth' can be clumsy, too, though that’s no fault of the fine cast. The play flattens badly into what feels like political show-and-tell in scenes involving the ghosts." Full Review
"The author makes some stinging points, and they would wound more deeply if 'O, Earth' were sharper, funnier, and more focused than the often sloppily written free-for-all...There's plenty of imagination at work, but the laughs are surprisingly few; the author wields a blunt instrument, often suborning satire to speeches that exhort the audience to political action." Full Review
"'O, Earth' has an agenda that at times verges on agit-prop, but the production is always surprising, always theatrical…Both the satire and humor in the play are scattershot…At times, this point is too baldly stated and seems like preaching. Other times, the author’s sarcasm is stinging." Full Review
"'O, Earth' is baggy, more like an exuberant first draft than a finished work...The play's urgent declamations of feeling can be mawkish and banal. But 'O, Earth' is also generous, ambitious, and fundamentally humane. The superabundance of expression redresses historical silence; the crowded stage answers effacement and repression. When ghosts from a harsher past plead that we must learn to love each other better, who can argue with that?" Full Review
"Although you need to know that Casey Llewellyn's 'O, Earth' is as thickheaded a comedy(?) as you'd ever want to avoid, you might still be interested to continue reading the following. It may give you some idea of where, in a sadly dumbed-down culture, we're headed…Casey Llewellyn's attack--from which the actors and director Wills can be excused from any serious wrong-doing--is no more nor less than a foolish aberration to be quickly forgotten, as may never happen to the original." Full Review
See it if you want a rich, community-building, queer, and delightful rumination on liberation, ordinary life, radicalism, and utopia
Don't see it if you want a plot driven play about straight people
See it if the issues in the LGBT community, from marriage equality to trans rights are important to you. & if you have a deep love of American plays
Don't see it if If the splits in the LGBT community are of no interest to you, and if you never liked Our Town, this would not be your show.
See it if A playful-yet-profound look at LGBTQ issues intrigues. Daring mash-up of literary, historical, and real characters mostly works. I smiled.
Don't see it if You're not interested in LGBTQ issues, you dislike literary liberties and mash-ups, and you can't overlook flaws in an entertaining whole.
See it if if you interested in seeing a wildly ambitious and loving adapatation of Wilder's Our Town, wonderfully designed, directed and acted
Don't see it if if you are unable to look over the productions flaws, or if you hold the original text as gospel, this ain't your normal Our Town.
See it if You seek a postmodern, queer and transgendered Our Town, with great performers, earnest and appealing.
Don't see it if You are immune to the charms of non-heterosexuals demanding a place in theater (imagine!)& are allergic to heartfelt, sappy calls to action.
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