“RoosevElvis is far too empathetic a play to lend itself to cold deconstruction…[It’s] the company’s most intimate work that I’ve seen, and also its warmest…a lot fresher than most new plays you’ll see this season.“
“…researched to the teeth, [RoosevElvis] offers a spirited and insightful commentary on two archetypes of American masculinity, while finding teasing ambiguities within both that suggest that machismo is a shaky existential choice.”
– Ben Brantley, New York Times
“..More buoyant than theatrical material has any right to be…RoosevElvis‘s velocity sweeps us into gorgeous, buoyant nonsense without our noticing…The audience laughs—not with recognition or self-satisfaction, but with the purest kind of astonished delight.”
“This glorious show is strong precisely because it focuses, at long last, on individuals. It fully, totally revels in King’s gravelly, bourbon-soaked tones; it exploits to the last degree Sieh’s titanic comic gifts…Some astonishing scenes, several the best I’ve seen this year, are the result.”
– Helen Shaw, Time Out New York
“a stirring, absurd, and grandly human historical-cosplay road-trip fantasia…a big-hearted and affecting examination of that most American of faculties: imagining yourself as bigger, grander, and more, no matter how little you might be.”
– Village Voice
“The most awesome buddy comedy in American history…in typical TEAM fashion, it explores so much more, from the limits of hero worship to the impossible standards of masculinity in America, and all with thrilling athleticism and unfailing intelligence.”
“Command performance[s] by King and Sieh who carry the whole production by weaving in and out of their characters and counter-characters seamlessly…[they] deftly spar across the stage through historically biographical reflections and witty one liners.”
– Grace Moon, velvetparkmedia
Photo by Sue Kessler.
In June 2013, the TEAM took Mission Drift across the pond to The Shed, the National Theatre’s temporary theatrical space on the South Bank in London, where it was met with great enthusiasm and positive reviews. Check out what the London press had to say about Mission Drift and the TEAM:
“A theatrical tornado, and a sideways glimpse into America’s tarnished, weary soul.”
The Guardian’s Lyn Gardner also gave us this fantastic tweet immediately after the performance
Mission Drift @NationalTheatre is a thing of fierce skittering beauty, skewering capitalist expansion through story of desert mirage. #stage
“It’s thrilling, it’s explosive, it burns with the heat of flashing neon and sun-soaked desert sand.This is unapologetically exciting theatre.”
“American capitalism really is a mindfuck of a subject, and if you’re going to attempt to address its entire history in a couple of hours then you really need a mindfuck of a play…Mission Drift is a whirlwind of song and sound and surreal vignettes that conveys the dizzying mania of America’s rise with an energy that’s part sickening, part exhilarating.”
Time Out London
“Intelligent or indulgent, bold or bewildering? It’s probably all of them at times. The dizzying theatrical bravura of the piece, however, keeps you fascinated and on edge throughout.”
Mark Shenton, The Stage
A “ mesmerizing drift through the legend of the American ‘frontier’.”
“A raunchy roster of songs that twist and subvert the diamante-studded Vegas vibe.”
“A riotous and wickedly enjoyable fable of the creation and destruction of the American Dream in Las Vegas.”
What’s On Stage
“Mission Drift gets under the skin of American capitalism, while dazzling with its expansive ambition. With this pulsing piece the TEAM has given the capital its most politically potent musical since London Road.”
National Theatre Review
“This is fiercely intelligent stuff.”
During the final week of the Mission Drift run in New York City, Heather Christian and I went over to the NPR Studios. We were both extremely excited, but Heather can testify to the fact that my face almost shattered I was so giddy. With eyes wide we followed Margot Adler as she gave us a tour of the studio. Almost everyone was out to lunch, but it didn’t matter. I saw the desk of Robert Krulwich. And we even waved at Zoe Chace and Chana Joffe-Walt from Planet Money.
We sat down with Margot and discussed the work, which she’d seen previously.
CLICK HERE to listen to the awesome story that she put together.
Here we are, a little past the halfway point of our 4-week NYC run. If you haven’t seen the show yet, or are wondering what your opinion of the show should be, here’s a roundup of some of the things that have been written about Mission Drift so far in the New York City press:
Of all of the art inspired by the global economic crisis, perhaps none is as lusty and energetic as Mission Drift, the new musical by New York theater company the TEAM.
Drifting Into American Myth, The Wall Street Journal
Mission Drift…succeeds in staging a staggeringly ambitious saga. The liveliest lesson on desire, destruction, and economics that you’ll see in many a year.
The Village Voice
There’s a lot about the company’s new project to take heedless, heady pleasure in… Pleasures aplenty.
The New York Times
Mission Drift examines heady concepts without ever losing its heart. Thanks to strong writing and powerful performances, the TEAM never forgets to have empathy for their subjects… Mission Drift captures the zeitgeist while daring to suggest hope for the future.
An example of a theatre company at their most muscular, tackling what theatre should be tackling… to the hauntingly remarkable musical atmosphere of Heather Christian.
Exactly what I want the theatre to do to me: take me someplace I don’t know how to get to on my own.
New York Theatre Review
And a great little piece about the trials and tribulations during the genesis of Mission Drift in the New York Observer: After Three Years at Sea, the TEAM Drifts Home
Mission Drift made the roundup of TONY’s suggestions for not-to-be-missed theatre shows this winter–right up there with Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Willie Loman and Kevin Spacey as Richard III. We’ll take it.
One of New York’s premier troupes… The TEAM presents it’s latest theatrical brainstorm.
–Time Out New York, “20 theatre shows to see this winter”
“This is the perfect moment to welcome back to Edinburgh the young TEAM company of New York, with their mighty new show Mission Drift… brilliantly sustained by this whole eight-strong company of performers and creators, and cheered to the echo by an audience who know that America’s physical frontier has gone, but who can recognise the thrilling frontier of 21st-century theatre when they see it.”
–The Scotsman, Edinburgh
“The best show I’ve seen at the Fringe so far by a country mile is this beautifully inventive show from New York’s The TEAM”
–The Daily Telegraph, London
“The ambition here is breathtaking and the energy intoxicating. A must-see.”
–The Independant, London
“There is more than a touch of The Wizard of Oz in a show that has a magpie eye for bright and shiny cultural references, an ebullient sense of fun and a broken heart… The company fulfil all their much-hyped promise in this gorgeous, gaudy musical.”
Mission Drift – review
“The TEAM (Theatre of the Emerging American Moment) have slowly but surely become the artistic conscience of a younger generation”
The Wheel Ten Plagues Mission Drift Futureproof Roll up, roll up for a magical history tour
“TEAM’s Mission Drift: The money markets are in meltdown. Send for Elvis”
TEAM’s Mission Drift: The money markets are in meltdown. Send for Elvis
“Setting the whole enterprise to bluesy, gospel-tipped song, led by showgirl and beauty queen Miss Atomic, the razzlin’, dazzlin’, manipulative spirit of Las Vegas, the company finally achieve the huge, soaring size of their ambitions. The (collectively-done) writing is crisply poetic, and each performance sharp, focused and beautiful.”
-Edinburgh Festival Guide
The TEAM achieve the huge, soaring size of their ambitions
“The TEAM are theatrical excavators of American culture, American dreams and the American psyche, understanding the intimate connection between past and present, celluloid and reality… it is alive with ghosts, fractured, full of the winds of change, half-remembered dreams. It is tender, elegiac and tough.”
–The Guardian, London
“How stimulating to wake up in 2009 in the hands of a present-tense theatercompany who knows what it’s doing…[Architecting] considers, with a refreshing lack of judgment, just what allows people to survive catastrophe, acquiring a poignancy and humanity and quietly summoning entire lives of everyday loss…In the musical moments, characters of shifting identities seem, however briefly, secure. Their voices are their own, and they fleetingly rise above the chaos of life on earth in a ritual that transcends time.”
-Ben Brantley, The New York Times
“Enthralling and infuriating, funny and tragic, intelligent and downright lunatic – it is impossible to have a simple response to this extraordinary production… One leaves the theatre thrilled by a company so determined to push the boundaries of theatrical possibility.”
“We are constantly told that theatre is the medium of the present tense, but this company refines that notion with terrific insight and flair. What emerges in this marvelous show underlines how sharply TEAM understand that theatre is like a magnified version of the eye of the needle through which this complex weave of consciousness is threaded. And they demonstrate this wisdom in the wit, verve and pained insight with which they bring past, present, and future in a glorious mélange of jumble and judicious ordering onto the stage at the same time…Visionary in concept and execution, this show reminds you of Tony (Angels in America) Kushner and sometimes of Robert (The Dragons’ Trilogy) Lepage.”
–The Independent, London
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