This Weekend: “Mr. Burns”

If you’re a “Simpsons” fan, you’re in for a treat this weekend courtesy of the American Conservatory Theater. Billed as an outrageous and enthusiastically acclaimed new comedy by Anne Washburn, “Mr. Burns” revolves around a post-apocalyptic Bay Area and a group of strangers bound together through a recreation of the show’s infamous “Cape Feare” episode. In case you’ve forgotten, Bart grows paranoid after receiving death threats and ends up coming face to face with the nefarious Sideshow Bob, who is ultimately apprehended by the police.

In the play, the basis for shaping a new society grows from recollections of Marge as well as Homer as the play travels decades into the future. It is hailed as both a marvelous meta-tribute to the twenty-first century’s iconic first family of pop culture and a celebration to the power of generational storytelling. (San Francisco Chronicle.)

The New York Times applauded “Mr. Burns” as “a post-electric play (that) has arrived to leave you dizzy with the scope and dazzle of its ideas. Ms. Washburn makes us appreciate anew the profound value of storytelling in and of itself, and makes a case for theater as the most glorious and durable storyteller of all.” In addition, the Village Voice crowed: “Washburn reminds us of the ways stories survive and adapt with us, how their specifics and lessons change to the society that tells them, how their meaning is inconstant but our need for that meaning, whatever it happens to be at a given time, is pure and permanent. From hell, Mr. Burns sends us to heaven.”

How can you resist? “Mr. Burns” runs on Sunday, March 1 at 2 p.m. The ACT’s Geary Theater is located at 405 Geary Street in San Francisco.

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