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Theatre Review: The North Plan

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, February 7, 2013

Sacramento's Capital Stage likes to push the envelope, staging shows wicked corporate kingpins and scheming government spy agencies. And actress Katie Rubin, a Cap Stage regular, specializes in out-of-control characters. But even by her own standards, Rubin's performance in "The North Plan" is a benchmark. She plays Tanya, a trash-talking hayseed with a thing for moonshine. Tanya believes she's entitled to lenience because she voluntarily confessed to drunk driving during a sobriety check, and she's furious when she's put in jail.

Tanya: Whatever dude, officer! I just want to sign something.  Anybody calls you up, tells you 'Tanya was f***ing loaded, you know I saw her drink six Long Island teas and jump behind the wheel.'  You could just be like 'Sorry dude she turned herself in, she cleared the slate on that one, she paid her debt.'

Tanya flips f-bombs the way a breakfast chef flips pancakes, and she could care less about anything she hears on the news. But even Tanya is aware that the Department of Homeland Security has declared what amounts to martial law, and the military is surrounding big American cities. In the cell next to Tanya is a State Department employee who's been rounded up. He has a copy of the government's list of enemies, which he's trying to get published before it's too late. But the local sheriff is keeping him on ice.

Carlton: "I want my phone call!"

Sheriff: "Not at this time!"

Carlton: "I am entitled to a phone call!"

Sheriff: "Not now!"

Carlton: "This is like something out of Kafka!"

Sheriff: "That's right, and you're the cockroach!"

The imprisoned hillbilly chick and the State Department dude soon realize that the government spooks are their common enemy. Together they hammer out a desperate plan. When the creepy agents in black suits arrive, and a brutal interrogation begins, this farce enters bleak territory. Rubin's riotous character is the wild card - picture a pistol-waving Annie Oakley, rafting on a river of cuss words. So be warned if you dislike rough language -- this play has lots of it. But if you enjoy a gritty, outrageous farce with no holds barred, this exaggerated comedy will jab your funny bone - so hard that it may hurt.
The North Plan continues through February 24th at Capital Stage.
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