Traitors, Treason and Poison Darts

… but it's funny this time

"Everybody hates you and you're out of cash. Go home."

These days, more refreshing words couldn't possibly be spoken to a president—and attorney Archer Brown does just that quite early on in November, the last show of the season from New Mexico Actors Lab. Brown (played by a slick Geoffrey Pomeroy) is adviser to the hapless and horrible President Charles Smith (the ever-friendly Robert Nott, perhaps too doofy and not quite hateable enough) in this satirical take on American politics penned by David Mamet.

Mamet, best known for the famously foul-mouthed Glengarry Glen Ross, wrote November in 2008 to lampoon the Bush administration. It's mercifully not as depressing or epithet-laden as Glengarry (essentially, I didn't want to end my life as I left the theater), but some of the jokes that we would have found outrageous during the Obama administration just feel too normal now—particularly when President Smith calls a Native American chief "Tonto" over the phone, we aren't even fazed (Tonto, Pocahontas, whatever—up next is Tiger Lily or Blue Duck). Seems par for the course.

Maybe don't go to this show if you fancy the theater as a "safe place" away from politics. Spoiler alert, though: That's not what theater is for.

Actress Jody Durham is the blond and beautiful Clarice Bernstein, who Kellyanne Conway probably wishes she was. It's always muttered that Mamet's works are misogynistic—and sure, the way in which the male characters treat Bernstein and the silly way in which she's written smacks of sexism … until you look at everyone in this play. They're all assholes. They're all stupid. They're all entertaining. This is equal opportunity lambasting, and we're here for it.

Toward the end, when thinking of leverage points in a hairy dilemma, President Smith barks to Brown: "Wait. Are we still in the UN?"

"Let me check," Brown says, whipping out his phone.

It's funny 'cause it feels so true. (Charlotte Jusinski)

November
7:30 pm Thursday-Saturday Aug. 9-11;
2 pm Sunday Aug. 12. $5-$25.
Teatro Paraguas,
3205 Calle Marie,
424-1601

The Man, The Myth

Public Domain

One of the most passionate points made by former US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz in a talk at the Lensic a few weeks ago was that Robert Oppenheimer, despite having accusations of treason leveled against him, was endlessly loyal to the United States. It's generally accepted that the US screwed up big-time when it stripped the head of the Manhattan Project of his security clearance, but historians and scientists still heatedly discuss the unique man's motivations. In a panel presented by Recursos de Santa Fe, Oppenheimer biographer Gregg Herken, KGB communications decryption veteran John E Haynes and legal expert Jim Fitzpatrick are moderated by former CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson. (Charlotte Jusinski)

Oppenheimer's Rise and Fall from Grace:
6 pm Wednesday Aug. 8. $10.
Terraza Ballroom,
La Fonda on the Plaza,
100 E San Francisco St.,
215-806-3732.

Country-Punk Hootenanny

Courtesy the Hickoids

Looking at the members of Austin cowpunk act The Hickoids, you'd be forgiven for thinking they're a straight-up punk band. That particular brand of attitude does reside somewhere between the twangy guitars, keys and pissed-off growl of frontman Jeff Smith, too, but this band might fit in more in the honky-tonks of Texas than some grimy NYC basement. All the same, Hickoids are cool, man—a not-giving-a-shit style delivered with a Southern drawl and more than a few PBRs. Fun fact: Former Santa Fean Tom Trusnovic joined the fold on guitar some years ago and never looked back. (Alex De Vore)

Hickoids with Imperial Rooster:
8 pm Friday Aug. 10. Free.
Mine Shaft Tavern,
2846 Hwy. 14, Madrid,
473-0743

Bam! Pow! Zap!

SFR file Photo

As the world of superheroes, graphic novels and pop culture becomes more accessible, why wouldn't there be an Indigenous version? In fact, in just under three short years, the Indigenous Comic Con has grown exponentially and even announced plans to debut in Australia. But how might underprivileged Native youths get in on the action? Easy: You. Visit the Jean Cocteau Cinema this Sunday for the Native Youth Sponsorships Fundraiser, a gathering with guests like cartoonist Ricardo Caté, live screen printing with clothing company Saba Wear and the Indigenous Futurisms fashion showcase. All proceeds help Native kids get three-day passes to the event at Isleta Resort and Casino this November. The event is free—so give generously. (ADV)

Native Youth Sponsorships Fundraiser: 
7 pm Sunday Aug. 12. Free.
Jean Cocteau Cinema,
418 Montezuma Ave.,
466-5528.