Out of gas
GAS by Jason Maghanoy (jsquared.theatre). Studio. Jan 14 at 9:30 pm, Jan 15 at 7:30 pm, Jan 16 at 3:30 pm, Jan 17 at 5:30 pm. $12-$15, passes available. 416-966-1062, fringetoronto.com. See listing. Rating: NN
This drama about American soldiers distributing gas in Baghdad fails to offer new insights into modern warfare. We get it: terrible things happen in occupation-style combat the horror causes mental breakdowns in soldiers.[rssbreak]
These are important issues but tired storylines, especially when narrated from the too-familiar West-centric position. Theatre’s job is to push the limits of experience, not rehash stuff you can see every night on Anderson Cooper 360.
Marc Senior does manage to connect in the role of Rocky, a tough sergeant who snaps, but any potential for a gripping climax is killed by the worst, least exciting and realistic gunshots I’ve ever seen performed onstage (they happen awkwardly in slow motion, accompanied by badly timed flashes of light).
Why even go to the trouble of getting realistic-looking guns?