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Friday, September 28, 2007

American Machine

Lantz Six characters on the third shift at a dilapidated car-parts plant in the rust belt are the fodder for Jim Lantz’s new play American Machine.

Ipsy, Teena, Lona, Buddy, Winkie and Lane.

Lane’s the 18-year-old son of the company owner, testing the summer-vacation waters on the family path to becoming the factory’s boss. Sweet, cute  guy. He ends up knocking-up Teena [well-acted by Bridget Butler, by the way], a single-mom with two kids home with her mom.

Lona’s the Latina single-mom with a dead-end life, who’s mostly on a cell phone fighting for custody of her kid. In the back of my mind, I wondered why she’d have any shot at custody if she was working the third shift?

Buddy, played by prolific local actor Dennis McSorely, has been there for 35 years and is mostly into porn movies.

Winkie’s a big, fat, dumb you-know-what.

Not a lot of laugh lines in this 90-minute one-act, but one is Winkie’s about them giving him a week to come up with the 500 bucks to pay to f*** the gorilla.

And Ipsy, the shift supervisor, has an accent, a limp and some kind of learning-disability.

You got it - a very depressing crew.

"Life Sucks and Then You Die" would be an apt alternate title.

What shone through to this blogger/reviewer was the effort Lantz the writer/director put into it. An admirable quest for some kind of meaning in meaningless times. 

“Once you got a mold,” says Ipsy, “you can make anything from plastic.”

American Machine will be at the Flynn Space though October 7.

Just can’t beat live theater.

Thank you, Mr. Lantz.


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Michael Wood-Lewis

Good to see you at the show, Peter. Our party was in the row in front of you and we laughed, cried, and were otherwise wowed. I didn't come away with "Life sucks and then you die"... some of that, but really a rich mix of emotion and thought. I'm thrilled that Burlington has original theater being written and produced independently. -Michael

P.S. I believe it was Buddy who told the gorilla joke in the opening scene.

Peter Freyne

Thanks for the post, Michael. And nice to chat with you before the show.

I may be wrong", but, yes, "Buddy" told the f**king the gorilla "joke," but he meant, did he not, that they'd pay "Winkie" $500 to do it?

Winkie misunderstood and thought they meant he would have to come up the cash to pay for it.

That was what got the laugh line, right?

loved it

no, sir, the joke was about a guy named dont seem to have paid very good attention, perhaps you should.....

the message wasn't depressing to me, it was about exposing this side of america's citizens to us well cared for vermonters, like yourself.
these characters are the kind of people usually looked upon with disdain in our culture....and yes, it is depressing to think that these are real life situations.
can you handle it?
or must you just put it down so you can be like the porn fiend, buddy when he said "i dont want to think about it"
think about it!

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