Musical critiques US corporations

Published: Saturday 04 July 2015

-- The cultish power of big corporations has found expression in films, even angry documentaries. It's theatre now. But Walmartopia, a musical satire travelling to towns in the us, is meant for an upscale audience that would never set foot in a Wal-Mart. But its point is well made only because Wal-Mart has become a symbol of corporate venality.

Its concept--the Wal-Martisation of the world--is somewhat trite though. A mother and her teenage daughter, tragically underpaid Wal-Mart employees, sing about their dreams. The mother is afraid to talk back to her superiors, while the angry daughter sees they are being exploited. This intriguing generational conflict goes nowhere.

The show brings on a mad scientist with a time machine and takes a leap ahead to 2037, where the disembodied head of Sam Walton hovers on a video screen and "Walmartopia" becomes an unfortunate collision of Wal-Mart and Orwell.In this future only Vermont, vilified as the land of terrorist hippies, stands free of Wal-Mart's domination.

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