Theatre Review: B Street's "Bright Ideas"

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, June 20, 2005

I live in Davis, OK? So I’ve met a few hypercompetetive parents who obsess about their kids’ academic performance, and spend lavishly on birthday parties and special after school programs. The new comedy at the B Street advances this high achieving family lifestyle to a  theatrically absurd extreme. Meet the Bradleys, who are thinking of poisoning a single mom, so that her son would go live with her ex in Chicago, which would open up a spot for the Bradley’s toddler in a highly regarded preschool. Even the Bradleys find the idea a little scary.

(excerpt from play)

That’s the premise, and possibly the funniest slice of dialog in the show. But this premise is only good for 45 minutes of comedy, and this show runs two hours. Playwright Eric Coble trys to prolong the fun by turning the story into an extended burlesque of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.” And director Buck Busfield ladles in lots of physical comedy and over-the-top performances. But no amount of energy on stage – and there’s plenty – can cover up the bottom line, which is that this script has more attitude than staying power, and not a lot to say after intermission. “Bright Ideas” is at the B Street Theatre in Sacramento through August 7. Jeff Hudson, KXJZ News.