SF Mime Troupe rocks the boat in Ripple Effect

Jul 07

Mime Troupe 2
Lisa Hori-Garcia (left, as Jeanine Adenauer), Keiko Shimosato Carreiro (center, as Sunny Nguyen) and Velina Brown (as Deborah Johnson) in this year’s San Francisco Mime Troupe free show Ripple Effect. Photo by DavidAllenStudio.com

I must admit that for a while there, I ceased looking forward to the July Fourth debut of the latest San Francisco Mime Troupe show at Dolores Park. The productions were feeling slack or worse, forced. The writing was off and the politics came off as strident or silly rather than relevant or even entertaining.Happy to report that this year’s show, Ripple Effect, is a major improvement. Much of the credit must go to writers Tanya Shaffer and Eugenie Chan, who co-wrote the show along with the Mime Troupe’s Michael Gene Sullivan. Very smart to tap two of the Bay Area’s most interesting playwrights.

I reviewed Ripple Effect for the San Francisco Chronicle. Here’s a sampling:

This year’s offering, “Ripple Effect,” which opened, as tradition dictates, in Dolores Park on the Fourth of July, could be full of rage, disgust and an overwhelming sense of injustice. And it is, to a degree. But it’s wrapped in a brightly written, laugh-laden, altogether chipper package that makes it one of the most enjoyable Mime Troupe outings in recent memory.

As written by Michael Gene Sullivan, Eugenie Chan and Tanya Shaffer, “Ripple Effect” takes its time working the audience into a fit of San Francisco outrage (about life in San Francisco no less), but by the end, fists are pumping and everyone’s chanting, “Justice rules and the Earth comes first!”

Though tech companies, outrageous rents and the displacement of San Francisco’s working class are the obvious fuel for this year’s show, the focus is personal.

Read the full review here.

And one of the best parts of this year’s Mime Troupe experience: bringing Fanny, the original Theater Dog, who doesn’t actually get to see much theater. She had a splendid time as well.

Fanny Mime Troupe

FOR MORE INFORMATION
San Francisco Mime Troupe’s Ripple Effect tours Bay Area and Northern California parks through Sept. 1. Shows are free. Call 415-285-1717 or visit www.sfmt.org.

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