Imagine if most thirteen-year-olds were told by their parents, "Work is not nice, homework's a waste of time, and here's $10,000!" Chances are they'd experience the same cycle that accompanies eating a bag full of Baby Ruths: a soaring euphoria, a sickening comedown, and finally, the lingering feeling that it wasn't all it was supposed to be. In her profound but comically sweet play, All is Well in the Kingdom of Nice, Kira Obolensky deftly combines politics, love, and art to teach the importance of freedom and the responsibility that accompanies it.
Emily, the daughter of refugees, desires a world where naturalization papers and teaching your parents to speak English are replaced by a Suzy Homemaker Mom who stuffs your open mouth with hot cookies and cocoa. The confectionary world she dreams up, however, is surreal and strangling in its perfection. There, Muzak is preferred listening because it doesn't offend anyone, and moms don't have babies because it's too much trouble. Books by authors like Emily's poetic heroine, Emily Dickinson, are sealed shut, and sarcasm is stiffly fined.
By the end of the one-hour running time, both Emilys have stood on a desk, declaring allegiance to hope, truth, and the power of knowledge to change the world. If you want a way to talk about our torn apart globe and how we can heal it, this astounding work is a great way in.
All is Well in the Kingdom of Nice will be performed Saturdays and Sundays, May 1 through 9, on Geva Theatre's Nextstage, 75 Woodbury Boulevard, Saturdays at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., and Sundays at 1 and 4 p.m. Tix: $12, $9 kids. 232-4382, www.gevatheatre.org.
--- Alisia G. Chase
Barnes & Noble Greece Storytimes Every Wed, 9:30 and 10:30 a.m., every Fri 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. 330 Greece Ridge Center Dr, 227-4020
Barnes & Noble Pittsford Storytimes stories every Wed 9:30 and 11 a.m., every Fri 7 p.m. 3349 Monroe Ave. 586-6020
Borders Storytimes Every Wed, 11 a.m. 30 Square Dr, Victor, 11 a.m. 421-9230 | Every Wed and Sat, 11 a.m., 1000 Hylan Dr. 292-5900
Brighton Memorial Library Storytimes Every Mon 10:30 a.m., toddlers; every Mon 11:30 a.m., preschoolers; every Tues 7 p.m., all ages; every Wed 3:30 p.m., ages 5-7; Every Thurs 7 p.m., families; Every Fri 10:30 a.m., ages 2-4. | 2300 Elmwood Ave, 784-5300
College Fair Sun-Mon, May 2-3. Rochester Riverside Convention Center, 123 E Main St, Sun 12-4 p.m., Mon 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Free. www.nacac.com
Girl Scouts Camp Open House Sun, May 2. For girls ages 5-17 and families, Camp Pinewood, Dansville, 1-3 p.m. 292-5160, www.gsgv.org.
Nurture the Nurturer Wed, Apr 28. For parents and teachers, songs and inspiration with Tom Hunter, RMSC, 657 East Ave, 7-8:30 p.m.
Play Carnival Fri, Apr 30. Edgerton Recreation Center, 41 Backus St, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Free. 787-1159
Rochester Toy Festival Sat, May 1. Victory Baptist Community Center, 32 Wildbriar Dr, Henrietta, 1-4 p.m. Free. 654-9305
Seneca Park Zoo Animals in Motion, Mon-Tues, May 3-4, for ages 4-6, Mon 9:30 a.m., Tues 1 p.m. Tix: $18. 2222 St. Paul St. 467-9453
Spring Children's Boutique Sale and Art Auction Wed, Apr 28. Children's clothing and artwork, Jewish Community Center, 1200 Edgewood Ave, Wed 9 a.m.-1 p.m. 461-2000 ext 506
Strong Museum Old Time Tunes of the Genesee Valley, Wed, Apr 28, Mitzie Collins and Company, Making American Music Series, 7:30 p.m. Tix: $12. | Wednesdays for Tots, Wed, Apr 28, ages 2-5, 9:30 a.m. | One Manhattan Square, 263-2700, www.strongmuseum.org.
What's That? Sat, May 1. Objects from the past, for ages 5-7, Holland Land Office Museum, 131 W Main St, Batavia, 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Tix: $2. 343-4724
Youth Day of Caring Thurs, Apr 29. Community cleanup, Rochester School #4, 198 Samuel McCree Way. 235-7848
Information on museum exhibits can be found in the calendar's Museum section.