Mr. Burns: One Story, Three Ways to Tell It!
Anne Washburn’s Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play(playing April 8 — May 7, 2016)is a theatrical exploration on the nature of story-telling and art follows the evolution of an episode of The Simpsons from camp fire memory to high art. For those of you who have never seen the episode (or can only dimly recall it) here is a synopsis of “Cape Feare,” season 5, episode 2, a parody of the Robert DeNiro film, Cape Fear.
The episode starts with Lisa receiving a letter from her pen-pal and Bart receiving a death threat written in blood.
Bart and Lisa watch an episode of the grotesquely violent “The Itchy & Scratchy Show” which Lisa finds hilarious, but Bart is too distracted by the death threats.
Bart tries to figure out who wants to kill him and has a number of initially threatening but actually harmless interactions with his mother, his neighbor Ned Flanders, and his teacher Edna Krabappel.
Marge complains to Chief Wiggum who is of no help. Lisa decides the threats are probably coming from Moe, the bartender, for their years of prank phone calls. When she calls to confront, he assumes she is referring to his panda smuggling operation.
Finally, the threats are revealed to be coming from Sideshow Bob whom Bart put in prison. He is released on parole, and sits in front of the Simpsons family at the movie, smoking a cigar and loudly laughing. When they realize who it is and that he is the one who has been threatening Bart, Marge tells him to stay away from her son.
We then see Bob at home, covered in threatening tattoos, working out. As his threats escalate, the Simpsons join the Witness Relocation Program, and move to a house boat on Terror Lake. We see a new opening credit sequence for “The Thompsons,” The Simpsons new alias.
Little do they know, Sideshow Bob has tied himself to the undercarriage of the car. As Bob steps out threateningly from underneath the car, he proceeds to step on a series of rakes, hitting himself in the face.
That night, Bob cuts the Simpsons’ boat from the dock and it floats away. He ties up the rest of the family, and then bursts into Bart’s room with a machete. Bart tries to escape but the water is full of crocodiles and electric eels.
Sideshow Bob corners Bart and asks him if he has any last requests. Bart asks him to sing the entire score of Gilbert & Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore which he does. By the time he finishes, the boat has run aground in front of the Springfield police. Bob is taken away and the Simpsons return home.
MR. BURNS, A POST-ELECTRIC PLAY
by Anne Washburn, music by Michael Friedman
Directed by A. Nora Long
Tickets onsale now at https://tickets.lyricstage.com/
Please note: There will be no late-seating during the run of this show. Please plan accordingly.
Complied by A. Nora Long, Associate Artistic Director.