Worth a shot - Page 2

Mark Jackson's American Suicide brings can-do despair to life
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Wilmurt's excellent and endearing play on the supportive wifey adopts something of the wide-eyed, guileless, endlessly grateful manner of a game show contestant.

Liam Vincent rounds out the terrific cast in the roles of two mysterious men who together push the play's social critique a notch higher, or lower, into the realm of politics and an ever-encroaching state power.

The issue of martyrdom naturally calls forth from among the other eager suicide opportunists a certain bearded fellow (played with wonderfully dignified comic assurance by Vincent) in Middle Eastern garb. Jackson eschews cheap shots here, instead going for the jugular with some of the play's funniest dialogue as Sam's political ignorance (a classic American virtue never too far from an equally classic rapaciousness) before the jihadist prompts the latter to narrate a kind of preschool allegory of anti-imperialism — a story later used for cross-purposes by a shadowy government trench coat (Vincent again) who'd like to use Sam to do something about the dearth of Americans willing to die for ideas. *

AMERICAN SUICIDE

Through March 11

Thurs.–Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 5 p.m.; $25–$30

Thick House

1695 18th St., SF

(415) 437-6775

www.zspace.org

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