Review: “Enterprise” in Brick Theater, or how to achieve a corporate American Dream
OnStage Associate New York Critic
One might think that there is no duller material for a play than the daily life of office workers in some big corporation, but not in the case of “Enterprice”, written by Brian Parks and directed by Ian W. Hill, that opened in Brick Theater last weekend. Unlike quite a few TV shows, set in cubicles and conference rooms, this play focuses not on the interpersonal drama, but on the affair between a person and his/hers work. The minimalistic set consists of only four desks on a small, black-box stage.
A series of absurdist and comedic vignettes about office life, the “Enterprise” shows a day in the life of four “nine-to-fivers” trying to save their corporation from financial collapse. Four “heroes”, played by Fred Backus, Adam Files, Derrick Peterson and Alyssa Simon, spend a sleepless night at the office creating a proposal that will save the company and elevate their careers. They create coalitions, spy on each other, make a bloody sacrifice at one point and occasionally wonder off topic while imagining life on another planets or underneath the surface of the Earth.
The brisk exchange of short lines, finishing phrases after each other, and the rapid swirl of quick scenes create the lively and compelling rhythm of an office machine, running on fear and maniacal enthusiasm. The writing of Brian Parks is sharp, precise, and it will make you chuckle and nod in recognition.
However, the question, is the “Enterprise” a good play for theater, remains. It is cartoonishly cheerful throughout and has just a bit of a “Oh my god, what I am wasting my life on?” moment in the end, which evaporates as soon as you leave the theater. With that said, I would certainly enjoy reading the “Enterprise” as a collection of short anecdotes on my commute to the office.
“Enterprise” runs February 2-5 at 8 pm; February 9-11 at 8 pm, February 12 at 4 pm, February 13 at 8 pm; February 16-18 at 8 pm. The Brick is located at 579 Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, between Union and Lorimer, close to the G and L subway lines. Running time is approximately 70 minutes. Tickets are $18, available at bricktheater.com or at 866-811-4111.