If curiosity has ever lingered over the strange dance between President Ronald Regan and his approval of Polish Trade Unions while simultaneously breaking the Air Traffic Controller’s strike, “Ameryka” can offer some insight. An intricate and pointedly non-linear play about the reflections of the American Revolution in the Cold War, the oppression of African Americans from Little Rock back to slavery and back again, jazz and the C.I.A., Poland and the trade unions that became Solidarity, and the very pursuit of happiness.
It’s a rich and delicious recipe. This is the kind of theater that makes magic out of pages of history and truths that are not self-evident. No one has ever made better use of a pile of bricks. Calling it a masterpiece might be an understatement.
Polish union organizers and federal employees of Langley, Virginia, trade places with black jazz musicians, renegade Catholic priests, and the poignant, lurking presence of a Native American. Thomas Jefferson and Tadeusz Kościuszko compare wine and philosophies. Throughout the play, journalists search for truth and try to spread the news.
The idea of freedom, the ideal of freedom and the facts on the ground are three different things. What we endure for the sake of our ideals gives those ideals currency. Major applause to Nancy Keystone and the company of Critical Mass for this unforgettable production.
Running only through April 29, this is a really a play you can’t miss out on.
For tickets, go to CenterTheatreGroup.org