Satirizing our society through our music


When the first review I read of an experimental theatre troupe is a pan, I take notice. (If everything they receive is praise, they may not be doing their job of pissing people off, right?) When it’s an attack on their politics, I’m intrigued. And when it’s coming to Seattle, I’ll admit I might even buy a ticket. Hand2Mouth is a Portland-based troupe of experimental actor/dancer types with an interest in the work of Jerzy Grotowski, the half-crazed Polish director whom Peter Brook described in The Empty Space in his chapter on “the Holy Theatre.” They do pieces of old-fashioned agitprop, including shows that impersonate corporations, as well as lyrical and dreamy-sounding pieces about the history of the City of Roses. Then there’s their current show, Repeat After Me, which they describe as “one part karaoke singalong gone wrong, one part dance theatre, and one part nightmare.” Not exactly your standard musical revue, Repeat does a thorough job of destroying all sorts of American pop classics, casts a cynical eye on the political manipulation of grieving still going on after 9/11, and generally mocks the unthinking attitudes of “loyal Americans.” While lampooning the excesses of red state residents may seem a little easy, it still sounds like fun. And besides, who said art always has to be fair?

Nov. 1-4, 8 p.m., 2007

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