Whatever one's opinion is of the Occupy movement, there's no denying that the demonstrations have brought increased attention to the unprecedented disparity between the wealthiest of Americans and the vast majority whose incomes have stagnated (or outright vanished) over the past decade. Underlying all the political squabbling over economic fairness is the disquieting suspicion that the fabled "American Dream" has been privatized for the financial elite and is no longer accessible through merit, but only through nepotistic influence and high-priced privilege. Set against such a cultural backdrop, playwright Josh Tobiessen's comedy Crashing the Party utterly resonates with the prevailing zeitgeist. Marking its world premiere at Mixed Blood, the play derives its humor from the well-intended efforts of two parents striving to fulfill the quixotic ambition of obtaining enough material success to satisfy the insatiable expectations of their shiftless children. Led by celebrated local performers Sally Wingert and Joe Minjares, the diverse ensemble cast stands as a multi-ethnic representation of America's ever shifting demographics. Crashing the Party, however, shouldn't be mistaken with a dull sociological study; Tobiessen's work abounds with farcical absurdities, emphasizing a keenly observant humor brimming with universal appeal. And as part of Mixed Blood's policy of radical hospitality, the show's pay-as-you-can admission guarantees laughs for all, regardless of tax bracket. There will be a preview show on Thursday, February 9.
Wednesdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m.; Mon., Feb. 27, 7:30 p.m. Starts: Feb. 9. Continues through March 4, 2012