Of Nice and Men is a snappy, genre-driven play predicated on your typical hero’s journey through the heartland once regarded as antiquated–cornball, even–in the pseudo-sophisticated shadow of a cultured society we’ve been thrust into by the more majorly militaristic manchildren among us (trading individual liberties for big boy toys and candy).
Since we occupy an epoch where modern delineation truly has strangled the life out of chronological concerns (that is to say we’ve had our fair share of allegorical parallelograms in our time, no doubt about that, no siree), if you find yourself charged with taking in this three-hour beauty, you can–and should–simply attend the theatre as a pilgrim of the arts, allowing yourself to become awash in a different reality, even if only for a glimmering moment.
Other than the obvious sociological implications afforded to us by the title, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the tap dance sequences that pop up seemingly from out of nowhere (even though I’ve just spoiled the twist for you, but you pay that no mind). In a nutshell, this tour de force pits Americana versus whimsy at the intersection of Leap and Gamble Avenues.
For all my field trip aficionados out there, I recommend bringing a schoolbusful of primary school students to see the Wednesday matinee, as tickets for 12 and under are free.
I leapt atop a cereal box
it wouldn’t support my weight–
I sank into the Cap’n Chocula,
lucky to miss scraping my knees
on the crunchy saccharine goodness.
The issue of scale
then presented itself
and I burst forth
from the cardboard capsule
the plastic liner recommended
by the FDA and all those smart folks
protecting our health
and personal liberties), unscathed.
I guess I owe my roommate
a new box of cereal, though
I think I would offer more value
by illustrating to him
the sheer improbability
of spontaneous size-changing
without understanding the principles
behind such a mind-melting scrap
of anecdotal fodder.
Ultimately, the attempt to voice
my impression of the event
would see me chasing my tail,
flapping my jaw until creakiness ensues.
Nope, forget it. I’m just gonna
clean up this mess, get some more
fudgy grain poofs
and be done with it.
No frills; we must tend
to the squandered beef on I-94.
Its recent turn to uselessness
in the eye of the discerning omnivore
stands in line behind a factory’s
striking rendition of a human,
chimney stacks puffing away.
No more bandying Comanche warriors
duking it out for second-class status;
Uncle Sam saw to their dissolution
while whispering “you just be good, now.”
Every part of the steer in use
would be the ideal situation here,
though idealism took a flying leap
off George Washington’s nose
when the stone masons weren’t looking.