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Piped Piper Theatre Review - Utopian Revisited Or Is It?

By Serita Stevens

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Education through entertainment. That is what writer/director Derek Ahonen does with his award-winning play The Pied Pipers Of The Lower East Side, which is now performing at the Matrix Theatre, as he challenges current social values in favor of the idealistic commune.

 

Pied Piper Review - Adam Brooks and Heather Mertens

What is love, really?  How is it best expressed?

 

Pied Piper Reivew - Heather Mertens and Adam Brooks

Billy (Adam Brooks), Dawn (Heather Mertens), Dear (Agatha Nowicki) and Wyatt (Jordan Tisdale) have almost  conflicting goals of love and anarchy as, despite their squalor and desperation,  they attempt to build a better world.  Then they clash with Billy’s brother, Evan (Ben Reno) and their benefactor Donovan (Patrick Scott Lewis), both who come from "capitalistic life styles."  Their utopian extended sexual family falls apart as each character battles his or her own private fears. The universe they thought was so strong soon disintegrates. 

 

Pied Piper Review - Jordan Tisdale

The story is meant to shock viewers out of their comfort zone and it does just that.  From the very beginning there are twists and turns.  In the end, the devotion of the four anarchists is stronger than Donovan’s marriage vows and everyone - both the characters and the audience -  comes out learning something different.

The casting and acting is excellent as each of the actors immerse themselves into their characters and become one with the play.  The audience grows to love each and every one of them, despite their flaws.

Going back for a second time, I was again impressed at the energy and intensity of all the actors and heard things that I had missed in the first viewing.  What came home to me this time was the message that the playwright tried to get across - about honesty in one's life, finding purpose, dealing with one's fears and being/living in the moment as well as the global control of corporations vs individual identity of the people involved.  It's the message of the 60's "flower childrern," but brought forward into present day and holds true today, as it did then. 

 

Pied Piper LA Review - Jordan Tisdale, Adam Brooks, Agatha Nowicki

This play’s not for everyone.  In fact, because of the nudity (tastefully done), no one under 17 is admitted.

 

Pied Piper Review - Adam Brooks and Agatha Nowicki

Produced by Joey Tuccio, president of Stage32's  Happy Writers group , Alex Zoppa (a writer on his own, as well,) Henry Reno and in association with RZT Production, Mumblecore, Todd Mendeloff & David Goldman.   Tiffany Thomas acts as production stage manager, while Ren Blanco designed the stage and Dan Reed did the lighting.  Erica Bardin managed the social media while Jason Faries and Brandon Combs did the graphics.

 

Pied Piper Review - Adam Brooks and Jordan Tisdale

The New York and Madrid runs were quickly sold out and I expect this will be, too, as it is more than just an evening at the theatre.  It's both history and a slice of real life.  

Pied Piper runs for a limited time until May 24, 2015.  Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m.   Tickets cost $30 ( with a discount for valid students ID ) and can be had by this link - Pied Piper.

 

 

 

Published on Apr 28, 2015

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