Arts Pick: Men on Boats

Arts Pick: Men on Boats

New territory: Men on Boats tells the story of four explorers’ heroic quest to chart the whitewater rivers that make up the Grand Canyon. Set in 1869, the play calls itself the “true(ish)” story of Civil War Captain John Wesley Powell and his brave crew’s attempt to map out one of our most magnificent national parks. From this description you might expect a serious, Ken Burns-style celebration of manifest destiny, possibly an all-male lineup. Probably all white men. This play turns those expectations upside down in an adventure-comedy with a diverse cast. The rollicking tale takes you through the unknown American West, but it doesn’t leave you feeling stuck in the past.

Through 3/28. $22-26, Live Arts, 123 E. Water St. 977-4177.

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Deborah Wyatt
Deborah Wyatt

Was lucky enough to get to see the preview for this play. Even before the play began, I was a bit blown away by the scenery — having myself been down the Colorado, this was ingeniously spot on for placing the audience in that colorful, unique area of the country. Then the characters arrived, each developing quite distinctly, humorously and endearingly, during the course of the play, as they gave their own witty take on real characters who traveled with, or represented, leader John Wesley Powell. Leave all preconceptions behind and have a fun journey.