Saturday, July 01, 2017

4 Snouts Up for Bad Jews and Sakamoto -- Great evening in Sacramento!

(:)(:)(:)(:) Four enthusiastic snouts up for Bad Jews at Capital Stage through July 23rd.  This clever, provocative play is tightly constructed, fast-paced, well-acted and provides a rare of combination of roaring laughs with food for thought about the nature and important of subculture, especially Jewish culture--and whether and why we might value it.  The six of us who attended this play tried dinner beforehand at Sakamoto (literally a half a block away on the corner of 22nd and J Streets in midtown Sacto).  It was easy to park on a Friday night at 6:30pm.  None of us had ever been to Sakamoto but Yelp suggested it was good.  The place is huge (no need for a reservation).  And the food was really really good.  I thought it was way better than Mikuni's (which i've always thought was over-priced and over-rated so that's not saying much).  Really tasty fresh sushi, fast service and good value.  I would definitely make this my go to Capital Stage pre-show dinner place.  [Note: Cap stage, make a deal with Sakamoto.  Obviously Tapa the World and other restaurants are also close but this might be the best for ease of grabbing an early meal that's very good.]

Now back to the play.  Typically I'm grouchy about family dramas where people say awful things to each other.  My husband and I recently (last year) saw a highly touted drama called The Humans on Broadway of that ilk and were underwhelmed by it--it was very realistic but it came to nothing.  It's a lot to go through the stress of all that without a real pay off.  But some of the best plays ever written have that aspect, all of Tennessee Williams, some of Arthur Miller, and Eugene O'Neill come to mind.

This play manages to somehow make you guffaw and gasp at the humor while appalling things are said.  The thing that the playwright, Joshua Harmon gets right (well, he gets a lot right) is what's at stake.  At the beginning you think that the controversy at hand is a tempest in a teapot, and wonder why you care, but as the play unfolds you see how much is at stake emotionally for every single actor.  This makes everything make sense and gives us a way to connect.

As Cap Stage reminded us at the beginning of the play, the Bee no longer has a theater critic any more, so please re-post and re-tweet and forward this review to other people in town to get the word out about a great Sacramento double bill: Bad Jews and Sakamato.

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