Reviewed by Amalisha HuEck
What an interesting idea! Getting into crabs' mentality and their survival mechanism.
A funny allegorical play Crabs In A Bucket is a story of four crabs whose main desire is to get out of the bucket and to explore the outside world and possibly get back to their old way of living.
The play opens with Amargo (Xochitl Romero) and Pootz (Anna LaMadrid), two aging crabs who have been in the bucket for more years than they can remember. Their longing for freedom is intermingled with their neighborly chats about the other crabs who came and went, by mocking some and admiring others. Like in every species' world, there is a dominant crab (Amargo) that preys upon (Pootz) and his sensitivity in order to exercise his power.
When a full of energy crab Beb (Jordan Hull) enters, his ambitious and eager nature of youth disturbs the controlling Amargo, and an interesting debate takes place. Amargo tries everything to disturb Beb in his seeking for adventure, and he works hard to destroy Beb's young lively spirit. It is clear who won the argument when Beb mentions Amargo's older age, who then withdraws his discouraging remarks and let the youth be.
The power struggle begins again when Mamon (Michael Sturgis) joins them, the former resident who made it out of the pail and to much surprise he is alive, well and back again. And now, all over again the original desire kicks in and by crawling on the top of each other two crabs, Beb and Mamon manage to get out of bucket successfully. The ultimate goal of getting 'outside' is accomplished, which leaves Amargo and Pootz back to their regular, bitter arguments.
The costumes designed by Lou Cranch are phenomenal and fulfills Bernardo Cubria's (award-winning playwright and screenwriter) vision of the crabs' appearance. As a playwright he has been awarded with the Generation Award by Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company in 2020, and got the award by Ingenio 2020 Awards. In 2019 he was nominated for best playwright at the Ovation Awards. Currently, Cubria is in development of a feature film based on boxer Ryan Garcia.
Scenic design by Amanda Knehans is simple and effective and comes fully alive by lighting design created by Azra King-Abadi. Jeff Gardner's sound design supports the visual effects of flickering lights, and completes the imagination of an escape to the full creativity.
Produced by Associate Producer Troy Leigh Anne Johnson and directed by Alana Dietz, Crabs In A Bucket ignites around the theme of survival successfully and accomplishes a desired result of giving us the life of crabs in a bucket. The play of four 'screaming crabs' aiming for the world of ultimate bliss is strongly recommended.
Crabs In A Bucket is presented by Echo Theater Company at the Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave. The play opened on July 15
th and plays through August 21
st on every Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 4 pm, Mon., 8 pm; thru Aug. 21.
Running time: approximately 70 minutes with no intermission.