Jerry Rubin's book of the same name is the inspiration for "Do It!" an anarchic, audience-involving free-for-all celebrating the Yippie movement and the spirit of the '60s.
By ROBIN EISGRAU
"Do It!" is a rollicking trip into the mind of Jerry Rubin, who in the '60s
co-founded the Youth International Party (known as the Yippies) with Abbie
Hoffman. Based on Rubin's Manifesto "Do It! Scenarios of the Revolution" and
staged by the Beggars Group, this play features a thin wall between the
audience and players and has an overall anarchic feel that underscores the
sentiments in the text.
The stage of the St. Marks Theater is at the feet
of the audience and before the play begins a group of the players sit on the
stage playing improvised music in a tongue-in-cheek fashion. Free wine is
offered and a few actors impishly write handmade signs on cardboard,
bearing sentiments such as "Take Off Your Clothes."
|Company: Beggars Group.|
Written by: The Beggars Group.
Based on the book "DoIt! Scenarios of the Revolution" by: Jerry Rubin.
Cast: Gregory Pierce, Liz Maher, Jesse Freedman, Harrison Williams, Christina Maria Romero, Ria Bellafiore, Jason Soto, Randy Anderson, Paul Falcone, David Rogers, Jon Kowalski, Daniel Stiker, Fannie Kalis.
Related links: Official site
When the play begins, a
blue-suited actor (playing Rubin) stands on the stage telling us where the
exits are and asks us to turn off our cell phones. He ruminates on the
meaning of the play's title, concluding that the "it" is memory and that "we
don't have our memory our memory has us." Suddenly there's a burst of smoke
and the actors are in the midst of a chaotic crowd being tear-gassed.
What follows is an energetic patchwork of revolutionary statements and sketches
illustrating the tumult felt among young people in the U.S. in the mid- to
late '60s. "I am a child of America!" they each yell into a megaphone, at
alternate points adding "I drop out" and "I don't own a suit or a tie. I am
a yippie". The actors are all young and fresh-faced and seem to be
reveling in the free-wheeling text. The history of the Yippie movenment is
relayed in surreal, brief sketches that interlock with vivacity. The actors'
exuberance and the vivid revolutionary fervor of the play may make you
nostalgic for the '60s even if you weren't there.
Adding to the "power to
the people" feel of the evening, the Beggars group doesn't charge patrons
upon entering. Instead, you are asked to contribute however much you think
the performance is worth as you leave. Rubin would have approved heartily.
|APRIL 21, 2001|
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