“Theatre Nova cooks up Nachtrieb’s cleverly written The Totalitarians as a no-holds-barred political satire that will keep audiences laughing throughout the 1 hour and 50-minute show. This briskly paced, well-acted and well-staged show also has a bit of a too-close-for-comfort, ripped-from-the-headlines quality. Diane Hill’s nutty delivery of [a] game-changing speech is the highpoint of this show. An unexpected strong point of this show is the side-splittingly funny physical comedy between Zarrow and Forrester in the second act. I felt almost guilty for laughing so hard during a show that has some profoundly important and weighty themes."
PULP - ARTS AROUND ANN ARBOR
FAKE FACTS: THEATRE NOVA’S DARK COMEDY "THE TOTALITARIANS" WADES THROUGH A POLITICAL SWAMP
“This play is wacky as all get out. It's an absurdist comedy that lampoons political candidates, parties, operatives, everyday citizens and even conspiracy theorists. The play doesn't set out to get a political message across or accurately portray political campaigns. If anything, it's the opposite. It's an all-out, down and dirty romp meant to entertain and provoke, more than anything else. The best and maybe most useful thing audiences will get from the play is an escape into fantasy where they can laugh their butts off. Sometimes, that's just what the doctor ordered."
THEATRE NOVA PRESENTS
by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb
Politician Penelope Easter is a disaster of a candidate: impulsive and crass, with a closet full of skeletons. When she enlists the help of Francine, a silver-tongued political operative, the two embark on a madcap journey of sex, money, complete misrepresentation of facts, and a total lack of scruples - on their way to political fame. Only time (and a mysterious stranger bent on revolution) will tell if their ends justify their means, or if justice will find them in the end. This raucous dark comedy lampoons “reality" politics, the state of modern discourse, and life in a post-truth world.
Directed by Carla Milarch, The Totalitarians features Diane Hill, Connor Forrest Hutchins, Sayre Fox, and Joe Zarrow. The production team includes Forrest Hejkal (scenic design), Daniel C. Walker (lighting design), Haley Cook (costume design), Aliyah Kiesler (sound design), and Alona Shewach (stage manager).
ALL ABOUT ANN ARBOR
This dark comedy about 'reality politics' runs through Sept. 30 at Theatre NOVA
“At times ridiculously funny, at others far too real for the current state of politics, The Totalitarians proves to be a timely meditation about where we are as a country and the often farcical realities that lie therein. The four members of the cast are charming and perfect in their respective roles. At times, the humor borders on ridiculous, even absurd at times, and yet it never feels that far from reality, which might cause you to question yourself after laughing at brilliant, timely lines like, 'Freedom from fear,' 'A silent but deadly war' and 'Violence. We should start a war on that.' The Totalitarians offers the possibility of hope simply by suggesting that we consider our actions and thoughts before acting impulsively. That's certainly something we could all benefit from, especially our politicians."