A “staple” of a quality liberal arts education would be theater that truly presses the boundaries of conventional society. CU’s recent rendition of Eric Bogosian’s Suburbia revealed how great Boulder is at pushing the limits of what is considered politically correct, and challenging taboos. The story takes place in front of a 7-11 in a small, suburban New Jersey town, and follows a tragic two day span in the life of a few early 20 something youths, who are circling the proverbial drain. The youths spend the majority of their time drinking and complaining about the world instead of working to improve themselves. The main character, Jeff Gallagher, is a troubled alcoholic who is in love with the idea of his girlfriend Sooze Beckwith. To say that their relationship is complicated would be putting it lightly, with Jeff’s “Rebel Without a Cause” mindset and Sooze’s dream of moving to New York and becoming a successful artist. They were doomed from the start, but with the introduction of Neil “Pony” Moynihan, the play’s antagonist, their fate is sealed. Easily considered the most complex character in the play, Tim Mitchum’s character appealed to me the most as the playwrite dared to spotlight an American hero, the soldier, in a way considered most taboo. Propaganda films since the 1920’s have done a fantastic job at glorifying the soldier as an American hero, so Bogosian’s decision to depict the honorably discharged Irag veteran as an unfulfilled alcoholic with performance anxiety is extremely progressive and daring. The interaction between Tim and the Pakistani store owners was an excellent depiction of modern day racism and prejudice. The action of the play begins with the reunion of the gang’s aforementioned high school companion turned successful musician, Pony. His presence is unwelcomed by Jeff, who feels his relationship with Sooze is threatened by the successes experienced by Pony. The conflict only gets worse as Sooze starts to fancy the idea...
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