Given I live in Los Angeles, and left New York City in 1989, the founding of Elevator Repair Service passed me by. Now, thanks to the Redcat Theatre that omission stands corrected. To my great good fortune I had the opportunity to see Arguendo, which manages to turn a subject matter generally about as dry as the arid steppe of your choice into a delightful yet accurate depiction of our legal system.
Barnes v. Glen Theatre. In the loosest possible terms, the case involved whether an Indiana law banning public nudity applied to nude dancers, who at least in theory are expressing themselves artistically and therefore might be viewed as falling under first amendment protection. Other than the titillation factor, it sounds pretty dry doesn't it? Honestly, one walks in expecting the focus upon relationships between counsels or between Justices to be the focus.
But, no. Delightfully, theatrically, emphatically--no.
At the end, the world of the play returned to what we might as well call "normal" with a simple humorous anecdote about Rehnquist and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Yet we don't see it that way. Rather we see this tiny, even human event as the tip of an absurdist iceberg which governs our lives. Bravo.
One hardly even feels surprised when the U.S. Constitution joins the cast to take a bow...
Arguendo plays Sunday at 3pm at the Redcat Theatre, 631 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. You can make reservations at (213) 237-2800. If you have a chance to see this show, either here or elsewhere (check out the group's website above) I strongly recommend you do so.