Having frequented many OU plays, my expectations were set very low for “War is F**king Awesome.” After discovering this wasn’t your typical School of Theater production, I wasn’t sure what to expect.
“War” follows our heroine, Unity Spencer (U.S. for short; punny, isn’t it?) who, after a brutal attack from the redcoats, received special powers and has become our country’s new — but only to be used in times of peril — secret weapon. Following Unity through over 250 years of war, the audience learns the magic powers of an Indian chief who helps Unity along her epic fight. After realizing she has been a pawn for George Washington for 200 years (yes, George Washington has been alive all these years. He acquired magical powers as well and has been declaring wars all these years — but more on him later), Unity fakes her own death to live a normal life. But, being normal is too good to be true, and the power-hungry, raving lunatic of George Washington sends Unity’s former sidekick, Liberty Bell, to track down our heroine and get her back into kicking some a**.
Now, I’ll just give you a moment to absorb all that. Oh, and there are swarms of Hitler bots. Can’t forget that crucial part of the play. After you get over the fact it seems like whoever is recounting this story has been high for days, the storyline and acting of “War” was pretty f**king awesome.
“War” was a statement about how the U.S. is constantly fighting in war, and because of that, Americans think they are better than the rest of the world. Don’t be offended; this play insulted and poked fun at every stereotype in the book. From the English to Indians, black to Asians, and even your typical teenage girl of 2012, no one was left behind when the jokes were cracked. And no vulgar language was left out either.
With an opening monologue by George Washington, known as “The General” throughout the play, the f-bomb was dropped three times, and various body parts were mentioned just as many times. “Motherf**ker” and “F**k that!” were heard in almost every scene, this obviously wasn’t a show for the kiddies. While we are in Athens, and surrounded by college students who tend to use crude language in everyday conversation, it seemed unnecessary for this play.
Since we’re talking about war here, there definitely had to be some a**-whooping. Redcoats, ninjas, Canadians, yetis, sombrero-wearing Mexicans and Hitler bots all get their fair share of epic fight scenes. However, I may not be an aficionado of stage combat, but I feel these actors needed to brush up on the subject matter. Stage combat is supposed to be over exaggerated, so that way it looks like a typical fight to the audience. These fights never saw a single weapon nor body part hit the opponent. Only one battle between Unity and Liberty gave this crowd the gut-wrenching fight they were craving.
Lots of grunting and not-quite-on-time sound effects later, we arrive at a photo montage of Unity’s life. Photos from each year flash before the audience showing the normal life Unity lived after abandoning her position of secret weapon. The photos were obviously fake; some placed Liberty Bell in famous photos while others showed Unity’s face edited on to various stock photos of family scenes. With such great acting skills and amazing costume designs, I was disappointed in the photo montage; I figured they could’ve at least found someone with decent Photoshop skills.
All in all, “War is F**king” awesome lived up to its name. Especially when The General’s phone rang, and the infamous “Call Me Maybe” burst through the speakers. To channel my inner Indian chief, “that sh*t cray!”
Photo courtesy of Ohio University School of Theater Facebook.