Theater Review, “The Squirrels” Offers Jarring and Riveting Allegory

if you’re interested in a hilariously dark fare, “The Squirrels” by Robert Askins is now playing at the Aurora Fox Arts Center through February 9. KGNU’s Crystal Clear was at their premiere and offers this review.

My apologies, as of this writing I am still processing my thoughts on this offering playing through Feb 9th at the Aurora Fox Theatre. Truly it is exciting that above all else the production is not dull and bravo to the city of Aurora for offering cultural programming that is uncomfortable and dynamic. The squirrels succeed in feeling fresh with its brilliant self aware narrator played by Andrew  Uhlenhopp that immediately understands the audience’s trepidation at the thought of a re-imagining of the animal farm only focused on squirrels as a musical theatre. The actors to their credit mastered the mannerisms and sound to give effective believability. The squirrels in no way veils the crumbling social and economic structure of late-stage capitalism, which gives it the freedom of trusting that the audience is smart enough to understand that the exaggeration is for effect. The unfolded story of Mammalia played by Kelly Uhlenhopp as the long-suffering partner of the aging leader easily manipulated into fearing for his security by the threat of another breed of squirrel to the point of starting a war that destroys both communities is as old as Romeo and Juliet and as current as 45. The set is impressive and fills the stage and allows for the feeling of scampering in the forest. All in all this experience was memorable and jarring and funny and while certainly took awkward pauses isn’t that what you really want?