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Sizzle: A Global Warming Comedy at New Suit Theatre
Photograph: Courtesy of New Suit TheatreSizzle: A Global Warming Comedy at New Suit Theatre

Sizzle: A Global Warming Comedy at New Suit Theatre | Theater review

A climate-change comedy wants for comedy.

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The young New Suit Theatre is committed to telling stories that change the way we see the world. To this end, the company’s third production is Sizzle: A Global Warming Comedy, an adaptation of a 2008 mock-doc by Randy Olson, a scientist turned filmmaker who wanted to make a comedy about the global-warming debate. That’s a tall enough order; an even more daunting task: New Suit members Jason Burkett and Sara Gmitter have adapted it for the stage.

Sizzle doesn’t offer much new insight into climate-change science, but there is an interesting presentation of the often confounding debate between believers and skeptics. One particularly nice moment comes when cameraman Antoine (Jovan King) interviews a zookeeper (Liz Davis) about how the melting of the ice caps affects polar bears. Still, the success of the piece rests on the comedy (as its subtitle indicates), and this is where the script falls short. Though Andrew Nowak is excellent as the earnest filmmaker driven to near-breakdown and King makes for a charming skeptic foil, too many of these characters feel like ones we’ve seen before. At times the script comes off as little more than an extended SNL sketch, and not an entirely inventive one. Aaron Henrickson’s direction is dynamic and sharp (especially in the nightmare scene that opens Act II), highlighting the frustrations of communication in a technology-ridden world, but he can’t save the piece from a lack of frisson.

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