were widely varying degrees of creative success as Plan-B, for the second time,
combined its 24-hours-and-a-cloud-of-dust play-creating effort with its send-up
of Utah’s peculiar knickers-in-a-twist efforts at shutting down expression in And the Banned Slammed On. The 40-minute
introductory segment – hosted by X96’s Bill Allred and KUER’s Doug Fabrizio – addressed
the topics that would inspire the evening’s works. The audience lapped up the
eye-rolling references to misplaced moral outrage, including a Colbert Report clip focusing on the “
It’s hard not to recognize when an artist is playing specifically to the crowd. Jenifer Nii’s “PDA” threw a thinly-veiled Gayle Ruzicka clone and Ann Coulter together for a lesbian embrace and easy laughs, while saying nothing particularly interesting about the furor over gay public displays of affection. Matthew Ivan Bennett found a nice balance between easy shots at prudishness and genuine questions about artistic integrity in his piece about a sexually-graphic monologue being slowly bowdlerized until it’s a happy-go-lucky tap-dance number. Tim Slover’s closing “MoTube” used a game-show premise as a way to toss out as many instances of BYU priggishness over the years as would fit in 10 minutes; the performances by Kirt Bateman and Colleen Baum gave it more kick than it might otherwise have had.
It was also
fascinating to see which authors would stay on-the-nose with their approach to
their topic, and which would think expansively. Deborah DeVos took a
In his closing remarks promoting next year’s season, Plan-B producing director Jerry Rapier shrugged and quipped about the forthcoming 2011 edition of And the Banned Slammed On, “It could suck.” The fact that it generally doesn’t, even when it aims a bit low, continues to astonish.