Written by Sandra Ross. LA Weekly,February 4, 2004
Written by Terry Everett Brown and Jolene Adams (who also directs), this one-man show chronicles Brown’s ascent up the corporate ladder. In the course of an hourlong performance, Brown plays more than 30 characters, from Georgetown University professors to Wall Street power brokers. His career at “Shitty Bank” includes detours to Italy and Los Angeles, where he learns that “corporate blandom” persists despite changes in weather, food and locale.
Director Adams adeptly guides Brown through a series of lightning-fast character changes, and the performer’s facility for accents and oddball character tics makes the Milanese section absolutely hilarious. Co-writers Brown and Adams wisely use pitch-black humor to leaven the soul-destroying effects of corporate culture. Brown’s narrative of bureaucratic indignities — mind-numbing acronyms, endless paperwork complicated by nonstop computer problems and ass-kissing colleagues — also includes phone conversations with his sister. She feeds him motivational self-help slogans, but her brand of pop psychology does little to stem his mounting sense of dread.
Interspersed with Brown’s tale of his former career are present-day phone calls to various financial institutions. The first time Brown plays a phone prank on an operator, it’s amusing, yet the gag wears a little thin. But this is a small quibble in an otherwise outstanding performance.