Thoughts & Musings

2nd Story’s Enron is superb, stunning satire

Bravo to Shea and 2nd Story for opening their season with an unknown play in these parts and pulling it off to perfection.

by Don Fowler, Johnston Sunrise
  • 22nd October 201422/10/14
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There are two types of people who have to see this superb, stunning satire: Those who look at the Enron fiasco as something beyond their comprehension, and those who pretty much understand what happened.

Don’t let the title stop you from seeing this clever, funny, satirical dissection of a dark moment in American history. I found myself glued to every word spoken and action taken, as I watched Enron’s founder Kenneth Lay build a business empire, only to have it destroyed by himself and his dishonest, greedy partners in crime.

Tom Roberts plays Lay perfectly, showing the many sides of the complicated businessman who would kneel and pray as he bilked thousands of investors out of their hard-earned money.

Lay turns the rising star company over to his own rising star, Jeffrey Skilling, played with the utmost cunning by Artistic Director Ed Shea, in yet another top-notch performance. Here is a man with no morals whatsoever, taking pride in his “mark to market” method of accounting and inventing devious ways to show profits while losing millions for his investors.

And then there is Andy Fastow (another brilliant performance by Ara Boghigian), the underling who uses his own cunning to rise to the position of CFO by inventing shell companies and hedge funds.

Tanya Anderson plays the only character you will have any sympathy for in the play, and she plays it well.

Don’t be turned away by the mention of these economic phrases and methods. When the 95-minute, two-act play ends, you’ll have a better understanding of them, and it won’t hurt a bit.

The multi-talented Trevor Elliott has designed a set and integrated clever lighting that enhances every scene. On top of that, he directed the play, moving swiftly from one scene to another, created some hilarious satirical moments. (Wait until you see the raptors)

When it’s all over, you’ll sit back and loathe the characters for their unabashed, notorious behavior and actually understand all that gobbledygook you read about the scandal.

Bravo to Shea and 2nd Story for opening their season with an unknown play in these parts and pulling it off to perfection.

After the actors take their bows, all wearing “Yes on 5” stickers, supporting the important bond issue for the arts and preservation, we get a “Where Are They Now?” video across the stage. Make sure you don’t do a “Beat the Crowd” and miss it.

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