Finally! Someone wrote a play about the true nature of Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart as the Devil. Wal-Mart as the Antichrist. Wal-Mart as the root of all evil. Well, something like that. Walmartopia, which opens this Friday, opens up a Pandora’s box of spoofery when it takes on Sam Walton’s baby and tells the story of Wal-Mart employee (and single mother) Vicki Latrell and her discovery that—gasp!—her employer is a hotbed of low wages, prejudicial promotional practices and anti-union sentiments, and nurtures a culture that places the welfare of its employees far below its profit margins. Nothing’s sacred here as the iconic, yellow Wal-Mart smiley face dances its way across scenes and counts itself among the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink plot devices sprinkled throughout this production, including the head of the aforementioned Walton, a time machine and a mad scientist. Yes, we said “time machine” as at one point Vicki finds herself hurled into a future where Wal-Mart dominates the globe. I guess that would make Walton its holy prophet. The Off-Broadway folks ate this up so now’s our chance to enjoy this in a community-theatre setting with director Charles Harvey, musical director Kathryn Ferguson and choreographer Arwen Jordan-Zimmerman handling the behind-the-scenes duties. Just don’t expect any greeters at the theatre entrance.
Walmartopia opens Fri, March 12, at Theatre 29, 73637 Sullivan Rd., Twentynine Palms, (760) 361-4151; www.theatre29.com. Tickets $12 general admission. Thru April 10.