Brave New Workshop's "Toyota!" unsafe at any speed

Categories: Theater
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Comedy shouldn't put on the brakes: The Brave New Workshop
​I'm heading over tonight to catch Toyota! The Runaway Musical Hit! at the Brave New Workshop (currently the record-holder for most exclamation points in a local show title). To get in the mood, I rang up the BNW's Katy McEwen and asked her about the show--specifically, about that title. 

First off, I wonder whether anyone in the cast actually drives a Toyota. My question is met with a long laugh. 

"None of us can afford a Toyota," McEwen says. "I think the closest is a couple of Volkswagens. That's as fancy as any of us can get."

When asked about audience reaction to a show title lampooning a potentially lethal auto defect, McEwen insists there was no master plan to offend. 

"Reactions to the title from the audience have been fine," says McEwen. "We have gotten some reactions from interviews with the press, where people were reading a little more into it than we intended."

Ah yes, the press, always eager to stir things up. 

"Our original topic was broad--just current events," McEwen explains. "We were looking for a hot current event at the time, and we were just like, 'Hey, Toyotas: those things can't stop!'"

So, the intent wasn't to mock people in peril (sorry, it's just that reflexive press instinct to cause trouble)?

"We're not making fun of people getting hit by Toyotas," McEwen insists. "We're just making fun of the fact that they can't stop."

Fair enough. I mention that I'm looking forward to seeing the show (McEwen is back onstage after a hiatus, a welcome development), and McEwen interjects with the last word. 

"Had we tried to be offensive," she says of the title. "I think we'd have gone a little farther than that."

Toyota! The Runaway Musical Hit! plays at the Brave New Workshop though August 14. For tickets click here.


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