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Theater review: Enterprise finds absurd laughs in cutthroat office politics

Written by
Raven Snook

You think your job's a nightmare? Be thankful you're not one of the four desperate corporate drones trying to save their company (and hence, themselves) over one insane night in Brian Parks's zippy and loopy romp. This quartet is so stressed out, they pee themselves when chastised by the (unseen) Chairman. This must be how Trump's staffers feel.

Like Parks's previous Gemini CollisionWorks show, last year's riotous The Golfer, Enterprise values linguistic acrobatics and absurd exchanges over narrative. The story, such as it is, unfurls in brisk, wordplay-packed scenes that end in brief blackouts as Sanders (Fred Backus), Landry (Adam Files), Weaver (Derrick Peterson) and Owens (Alyssa Simon) brainstorm cockamamie ways to save the day. As befits their sports-inspired surnames, they play a lot of games, suffer from infighting and form various alliances, though even before they get to the animal sacrifice you sense the keycards are stacked against them.

The success of a surreal comedy like this is all in the timing. And the performers, though impressively committed, are still finding their rhythm under the directorial hand of Parks's frequent conspirator Ian W. Hill. The blustery Backus is most consistently entertaining, though the other three have moments. From a design standpoint, it's pretty bare-bones, but Kaitlyn Day's costumes are appropriately soulless and Hill's clever music choices often provide apt buttons to the vignettes. Like an entry-level job, Enterprise may not stay with you forever, but it's rewarding during your fleeting time there.

Brick Theater (Off-Off Broadway). By Brian Parks. Directed by Ian W. Hill. With ensemble cast. Running time: 1hr 15mins. No intermission. Through Feb 18. Click here for full ticket and venue information.

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