Theater Preview: WASHED UP ON THE POTOMAC (San Francisco Playhouse)

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by Tony Frankel on August 14, 2018

in Theater-San Francisco / Bay Area


Proofreading: It may be a lost art. As an editor, I have become accustomed to scanning copy everywhere for mistakes, either in grammar or with facts. But lately, the effects of having computers think for us is starting to do irreparable harm to language and communication. Just today, after catching a typo in a major newspaper, I saw that a major symphony in a major city made a major gaffe when someone misspelled the name of the orchestra’s conductor.

Even as proofreaders get paid, these mistakes are becoming ubiquitous. Could it be that those who are hired to keep things in order are just as distracted and busy as the rest of us? Or maybe they just don’t care? Either way, it’s probably no big deal when the letters in a conductor’s name are disorganized (it was only a press release), but what if it were a mistake that cost a company scads of money? In Washed Up on the Potomac, a world premiere written by Lynn Rosen, some employee at a D.C. proofreading office has made such a mistake, and when he or she is found out, it’s the pink slip for that pencil pusher from a terror-stricken supervisor.

Yet something more is going on here on this unseasonably hot October day: As three idiosyncratic proofreaders — a budding novelist, a wannabe rock star, and a wallflower dreamer — ponder their futures, they become haunted and inspired by memories of a coworker. You know, the one whose body may have washed up on the bank of the Potomac today.

Now through September 1, San Francisco Playhouse is offering this dark comedy as part of its Sandbox Series, which gives new works a full-fledged intimate production without the giant trappings of a mainstage outing — all the while utilizing artists at the top of their game. These world premieres are often more exciting than plays that have run for years. This exciting piece will be staged at Custom Made Theatre, the erstwhile home of SF Playhouse. Personally, I can’t weight to find out who maid that missteak.

photos courtesy of SF Playhouse

Washed Up on the Potomac
San Francisco Playhouse
The Custom Made Theatre | 533 Sutter Street, 2nd Floor
ends on September 1, 2018
for tickets, call 415.677.9596 or visit SF Playhouse

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