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Theatre Review: Enron



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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Heartless corporate greed, it turns out, can wear a winning smile.
 
"Enron, Enron, Enron, Enron!"
 
This flamboyant play tracks Enron's leaders as they rise from rags to riches -- and then get sent to prison.
 
At the heart of this smirking social satire is corporate strategist Jeffrey Skilling, intensely played by actor Jonathan Williams. He dazzles prospective investors with his smo-o-o-o-oth sales pitch. 
 
"We're not just an energy company. We're a powerhouse for ideas. No other company lets people work as freely and creatively as we do. If you hire only the most brilliant people…."
 
Based on rosy projections of huge profits, people rush to buy stock.
 
"By close of market today, energy darling Enron's stock rose 26 percent in a single day, to a new high of 6725. That's staggering, isn't it, Elyse?"
 
"It sure is, Gayle. That's why we're naming them our 'Must Buy of the Week.'"
 
"It's astounding. Their ambition and creativity."
 
"They're unstoppable! They're the light of the New Economy!"
 
The problem is that the company is all smoke and mirrors. And this is where the satire comes in.
 
Financial industry experts stroll onstage dressed as three blind mice using canes and wearing business suits, unaware that they are being swindled. (Music).
 
And down in the basement of the company headquarters, there are fearsome toothy dinosaurs devouring toxic debt, (music) so the company appears profitable.
 
This rollicking show delivers sonic zingers and stunning visuals. It's a cavalcade of crazy costumes and mocking incidental music by Sacramento composer Gregg Coffin.

The whole show pivots on company man Skilling, He's relentless and yet curiously persuasive, even as his company implodes, leaving bitter co-workers jobless and broke.

If you hanker for an audacious, energetic show depicting greed and its corrosive effect, "Enron" hits the bull's eye.
 
"Enron" continues at Sacramento's Capital Stage through October 28th (extended from October 21st)
 
View NPR news stories about the collapse of Enron
 
Read NPR's story about the 2010 Broadway production of "Enron."
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