I finally got to see The Anthropologists’ Give Us Bread on Thursday. On paper, a project to write a play about the 1917 food riots in New York City has the potential to become painfully earnest and preachy. It would almost certainly end up that way if I were to try my hand at playwriting, and it’s best for everyone that I don’t start.
Luckily, the women behind this particular play have talent in spades. It’s gripping pretty much from the start, with fantastic characters, subtle acting, and a plot that grips you from the first scene and never insults your intelligence.
The final scenes were utterly fantastic – they delivered a thoroughly satisfying conclusion and if you didn’t know, you’d never suspect that the dialogue was lifted almost completely from historical records and accounts of the food riots in early 1917. It’s a play shows that political theatre can also be great theatre – I can’t recommend it highly enough.
If you’re in the New York area, you’ve still got a few days to get tickets. And when you’re done, give em a helping hand in the independent theater stakes by voting for them in the Off-Off-Broadway Theatre awards.