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GS-14 The Bodega at The Trading Post

Remaining Performances Wednesday, July 15th 5:30 pm Saturday, July 18th 6 pm Thursday, July 23rd 8 pm Sunday, July 26th 11:45 am

They say: GS-14 is a comedy about a fed-up government manager who decides to ignore all rules so as to get the job done. He tries to fire the lazy. He tells people unwelcome truths. He’s soon in fights with almost everyone!

Llewellyn says: Isn’t government one big, convoluted bureaucracy?  I mean really, who knows how anybody gets anything done in a world of inane requirements, embattled egos, and endless paperwork.  Maybe if someone were only able to circumvent all the needless requirements, then something could actually get done around here!  That’s the story of GS-14, where a frustrated, conniving manager, aptly played by Seth Vaughn, looks to circumvent the PC police to complete this fictional software that would “save untold lives”. It’s an office drama, told with lots of wit, that digs into the details of political maneuvering and innuendo that surround this town’s untold soap operas.  Complex and creative maybe, but in the end, it’s unsatisfactory.  Constantly pacing around an office desk, most of the actors never seem to settle into their roles unless they’re imitating other characters within the story.  They are all just ordinary office workers going about their day.  And without characters to care about, the obscure military references fall flat.

This couldn’t be more apparent as when the new hire Theo, a transvestite chess player played by Ricardo Frederick Evans, comes aboard and steals the show.  His timing and personality easily trumps whatever statement was being made about political correctness.  When Theo is forced to wear proper clothes at work, and Megan, played by Ariana Almajan, is repeatedly told her fiancée is a terrible person for reasons unknown to the audience, I wished the cast had mutinied right then and there against the rampant sexism in the script.  There’s little redemption that all of these horrible things were in any way justified so we could see some fantasy software being made.  Theo’s identity politics are there to be belittled.  I had a hard time believing that any software was worth putting people down like that, and in the end I yearned for more bureaucracy.

See it if: You like software more than people.

Skip it if: You like people more than software.