Katha and Ryu are a typical American couple, busy with their careers and hectic modern life. They've recently suffered a loss and are struggling with regaining their footing in their lives. When Katha meets a man in a sharp suit and hat who tells her about a place where life is simpler, she's intrigued. She convinces her reluctant husband to move to the Society of Dynamic Obsolescence (SDO), where he trades his job as a plastic surgeon for a position making boxes at a factory, and she trades her business suits for an apron. Katha, now called Kathy, seems to flourish in this environment as she revels in going to society meetings and making crab puffs. But Ryu, who is of Japanese heritage, struggles with the "period appropriate" racism and conflicting feelings about the "recent" internment of Japanese Americans, as well as his own conflicting feelings about his new role as "head of the household." As chief recruiters for the SDO, Dean and Ellen provide a perfect example of life in 1955, until secrets come to light that reveal they're not what they seem. Are Katha and Ryu ready to take over for them and make a life in this new old world, despite their reservations?
As usual, Frank Theater has assembled a sparkling cast. Tessa Flynn and Sherwin Resurreccion are believable and relatable as Katha and Ryu, the couple through whom we're introduced to this bizarre world. Because of their dissatisfaction with the world and their life, it's easy to empathize with them and understand why they might fall victim to this too-good-to-be-true scheme. As Dean and Ellen, Wade Vaughn and Katie Guentzel project the perfect glassy-eyed veneer of the happy couple as they provide tips to their new recruits, and also give us glimpses of what's going on underneath. Rounding out the cast is David Beukema, in a sympathetic turn as a man with a past (and current) connection to Dean.
|doesn't this look like a party you'd like to join?|
Only two more weekends to catch this intriguing new play. Frank is again also offering free readings of plays by playwright Jordan Harrison during the run of the show; see their website for info about both.