Political turmoil is good for the satirist, as the Brave New Workshop’s latest offering, “Spilling Me Softly,” shows from beginning to end. Taking shots at divisions within the tea party, horrible choices for governor and perennial favorite Michelle Bachmann, the company crafts a fast-paced, funny and insightful two hours. And it’s all wrapped up in an “Inception”-aping plot that has one of the actors, Josh Eakright, becoming trapped within one of his characters, “El Guapo.”
That part of the show makes for some fun meta moments as the rest of the cast tries to drag their fellow out of the shallow reality of a sketch-based comedy revue and back to the relative complexity of the real world. Of course, considering the chaos that the company pokes fun at throughout, does he really want to come back?
Fun plot aside, it’s really about the political and social jabs here.
Server-baiting Tom Emmer (played by Bobby Gardner) sings of his personal tough times, all the while incurring the wrath of waitresses and bartenders at every turn. In other local politics, Benjamin Franklin explains that the gubernatorial race goes far beyond the better of two bad choices, while Bachmann has a less-than-helpful eye exam.
It’s not just politicians who get skewered. There are smug folks and their high-tech phones; self-satisfied suburban eco-warriors; and a woman who wants to marry her cat. The entire cast, which also includes Lauren Anderson, Joe Bozic, Mike Fotis and Ellie Hino, works with just enough control on the chaos to highlight the humor, while director Caleb McEwen makes it all stay clear — important in a show where sketches get embedded within other sketches and actors may be characters playing characters playing characters.
“Spilling Me Softly” runs through October at the Brave New Workshop, 2605 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis. For tickets and more information, call (612) 332-6620 or visit online.