Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Mister Smith Goes to Obscuristan 

Another leftist offering from the Mime Troupe is long on preaching but short on entertainment

Wednesday, Jul 10 2002
Mr. Smith Goes to Obscuristan consists of the same lefty agit prop satire the Mime Troupe has offered for years, sugared with a few good songs and one hilarious dead-ringer performance by Ed Holmes as Dick Cheney. Otherwise it's blissfully short. "Obscuristan" is a country "next to Afghanistan" that has no recognizable natural resources for international companies to plunder. Cheney and Condoleezza Rice want to improve the administration's image by bringing democracy to a helpless nation where the U.S. has no obvious profit motive, so they send a firefighter who survived 9/11 named Jeff Smith (Michael Gene Sullivan) to oversee the electoral process. Unfortunately, he can't help but notice that an Obscuristani reformer named Ralif Nadir has been shut out. (Later, we learn that Obscuristan does have oil, so Washington fiddles with the election.) Josh Kornbluth's script relies on the solid premise that promoting democracy would be fine as long as it's really democracy. And Velina Brown's performance as Rice is very funny; she sings mellifluous melodies con dolcezza. Still, most of the show plays like a hollow cough. It rises from predictable tub-thumping to real satirical joy only now and then, and I wasn't surprised when a girl behind me complained, "Mommy, I wanna go home. This is boring."


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"