12th Avenue Arts Capitol Hill
Thursdays-Saturdays. Continues through Oct. 10 2015
Like Catch-22, The Memorandum is a tragedy about large-scale catastrophe (war in the former, totalitarianism in the latter) wrapped in a comedy about tiny human interactions. The office workers quibble over logbooks and rubber stamps, cut each other down with unctuous smiles, and obsess about what they'll have for lunch that day while their world slides into an increasingly dire situation they're either unable or unwilling to contemplate.
The play is good enough—in a Kafka's-kid-brother kind of way—but the performances range from very good to excellent. Danneker plays Ballas as a restless and amoral young colt, while Maya Sugarman loiters in the background as a shy but kind young secretary named Maria who, besides Gross, is the only sane person in the office. And Sarah Harlett does smilingly sinister work as Lear, a Ptydepe booster who gives the audience language lessons with slick PowerPoint presentations. (One imagines the 1965 version of The Memorandum using chalk and a blackboard.) BRENDAN KILEY Read the full review.