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Review – The Art is Medicine Show ‘An Imaginists’ Odyssey’ By Alexa Chipman

The Imaginists are a creative, satirical theater company, presenting free performances in local parks with minimal props and sets. They arrive on bicycles, quickly setting up a backdrop and finalizing costuming while the audience gathers with folding chairs, blankets and friendly dogs to watch the show and enjoy Sonoma County’s beautiful outdoors.

The Art is Medicine show draws on current cultural trends and politics, transforming them into a positive message of hope. Dialogue switches from Spanish to English in rapid exchanges that mix the two languages, rather than using stiff direct translations back and forth. Characters interact in a comfortably bilingual manner, leaving ripples of laughter in their wake. It is helpful to have a familiarity with Spanish to fully appreciate the nimble wordplay.

‘An Imaginists’ Odyssey’ is a blatant commentary on the current administration, complete with “Crooked Athena” and “Stormy Weather” brandishing a rolled-up magazine. Brent Lindsay as President Corn captures familiar mannerisms and speech patterns, terrified by Irma Garcia’s calm, regal Athena andRachel Quintana’s powerful Circe. The volatile Chorus is amusing and adds vocal texture, lending a sense of weight and purpose.

Little remains of Homer’s epic beyond vague themes and flimsy structure, although using President Corn’s sons (Azulito Bernal and Matt the W Cowser) to replace the Graeae with one eye between them was a successful choice. They wander through the audience, bleating for an eye to see properly, oblivious to other characters.

‘An Imaginists’ Odyssey’ is a political cartoon brought to life, rather than a traditional play, with an engaging cast and thoughtful lines, such as a reminder that “truth seeks you” and a warning not to be tricked by the “circus of events” but to hold onto and write your own story, rather than being pulled along by external influences. Despite primarily ephemeral references, there is lasting message to the story of courage and perseverance.

An Imaginists’ Odyssey Presented by The Imaginists through July 22, 2018 Dates and times subject to change.

July 13 at 7:00pm Bayer Neighborhood Park & Community Gardens 1550 West Ave, Santa Rosa

July 21 at 7:00pm Andy Lopez Unity Park 3399 Moorland Ave, Santa Rosa

July 22 at 4:00pm Finley Community Park 2060 W College Ave, Santa Rosa (707) 528-7554

Photos by Tibidabo Photography

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