Custom Made Theatre's Little Brother adapts Cory Doctorow's SF-based teen terrorism tale -- and it's probably the most exciting thing on stage right now
At this point, Little Brother bears a striking similarity to The North Pool, Rajiv Joseph's psychological two-hander set in a vice principal's office after school, which had its premiere last year at Palo Alto's TheatreWorks. But Joseph's battle, while resonating with a larger political and historical context, ultimately remains more personal than political. Little Brother moves via the next terrorist attack into the realm of all-out political crisis, as short a distance from here as that may seem, and in this way resists reducing its themes to merely personal terms, highlights a tension with the personal throughout — even as it cleaves to a familiar coming-of-age narrative involving Marcus and girlfriend-coconspirator Ange (played compellingly by Keltie).
Costello shrewdly emphasizes this tension in his staging, which begins with the three principal characters recreating the story for a video cam so that it can be posted online. As Marcus begins a first-person account, his cohorts interrupt him almost immediately. "Dude, you can't make it all about you," says Darryl, with good-humored conviction. "It's too big."
Through Feb. 25
Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m., $25-$32
Gough Street Playhouse
1620 Gough, SF