“Do you want to work with a machine where you don’t have to think?” This is the question posed to Mr. Zero, who has been working for 25 years adding numbers. He has grown tired of his work, his wife, and his life. Today, he hopes to be promoted to the front office. The meeting with his boss doesn’t go as expected and major changes are in store for him. Or, perhaps things will stay the same for him. He may not have the nerve to break out of the cycle of being a slave to the system.
[Warning: Small Spoilers in the Next Paragraph]
Mr. Zero dies and goes to purgatory. He finds the girl whom he worked with and always longed for. She killed herself because without him, she had nothing to live for. However, he doesn’t want to stay with her in purgatory. In her disappointment, she says “I’d rather be alive!” This received the biggest laugh of the night. Even though the story is mostly dark, there are a few great funny moments.
The production of the performance is fantastic. The opening scene is a whirlwind of choreography, lights, and music showing the repetitive nature of Mr. Zero’s life. Patrick Du Laney as Mr. Zero expertly shows the effect of his life slowly draining him out. The audience hopes for a better life for him, but it doesn’t seem very likely. The Hypocrites have again shown they are world class theatre that consistently puts on fully engrossing productions.
Don’t miss Adding Machine: A Musical at the Den Theatre through May 15th!
Preview the show here.
Photo by Matthew Gregory Hollis