POST: 'These Paper Bullets' - didn't take itself seriously

What's it about?

Characterized as a “play with music,” this play takes you back to the 60’s in London where a Beatles-like band of four single and attractive men called the Quartos rock not only the stage but the woman and practically the world with their soulful and heartfelt musical hits. However, there is a delightful twist. Everything is beautifully re-mastered from poetic Shakespearean lines. These Paper Bullets is a fun and exciting rendition of the classic, Much Ado About Nothing, that kept me laughing and incredibly interested throughout. 

Being known for their frisky and single nature - what would happen when one of the Quartos falls in deep love? Even worse, what would happen when he decides to get married? Oh the horror! When Claude's eyes met with Higgy, one could say it is the beginning of the end of what life used to be for everyone in the play. We watch as not only the dynamic of the group changes but how love has the tendency to seep into everyone and everything even if it is unwanted. 

What'd I experience?

To me, theater has always been an emotional experience. The fact that you can sit there and watch something unfold before your eyes and then be able to take something meaningful out of it later is truly amazing.

To me, theater is a catalyst for thought.

Or, that’s what I thought about almost all the genres offered, besides comedy. Don’t get me wrong, I love to laugh but I always thought that theater should be an emotional experience and I didn’t think comedy was capable of that. I believed that if I did decide to watch a primarily comedic play I wouldn’t be able to get anything out of it but laughs.

I was so wrong.

These Paper Bullets not only shattered what I narrow-mindedly thought theater was but it also made me love theater so much more. The play didn’t take itself seriously even when it discussed issues like heartbreak, drugs, cheating, and even murder. The lightheartedness of the play was such a nice contrast to the other works I had seen in the past or the things I’m just used to seeing (like I said above).

While I was watching, I wasn’t using up brain power to figure out what was going on. During intermission, I wasn’t wondering how I could take what I watched to create something meaningful out of it. For once I sat down and just enjoyed myself, enjoyed the way I was laughing at all the corny and pun riddled jokes.

There are so many aspects to this play, like in the beginning, I couldn’t understand anything the characters were saying. I just thought “It’s only because they’re British, that’s why I can’t understand anything” only later did I notice they were talking in old poetic English. During the musical scenes, if I closed my eyes I could actually believe I was at a concert listening and grooving to the music. The way they incorporated the audience, making it feel like I was a part of the world that they’d successfully created. And the slapstick humor and just the outrageousness of the situations these characters put themselves into.

None of the things in this play would scream “me” but that’s why I loved it so much. It was so different, it made me realize that I need to try different things out. Maybe it’s okay to just watch something to enjoy myself. Like honestly, what’s the point of being introspective all the time? Especially, if you’re not even going to enjoy the good things in life.

This realization cut through my veil like paper bullets, helping me see that there is more to life than just drama and sadness. Sometimes I just got to watch something because it makes me happy and that’s okay too. 


Want to see it?

$20 Student Rush

These Paper Bullets
Atlantic Theater Company
thru Jan. 10