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A Cool Million
(1990)
A Cool Million

Adapted from Nathanael West’s 1933 short novel, A Cool Million is a savage farce of greed and political manipulation—a Depression era Candide. In a caustic take-off of Horatio Alger’s books for boys, "A Cool Million (Or the Dismantling of Lemuel Pitkin)" traces the adventures of a young innocent country boy who leaves home in order to seek his fortunes under the mentorship of Shagpoke Whipple, ex-president of the United States. The work offers a vision of America beset with corrupt institutions, rampant, uncontrolled capitalism, and political leaders who control through unabashed exploitation of patriotic sentiment and traditional family values. The piece is performed as a solo, using rapid, distilled choreography and precise split second transformation within a world of some fifty-odd characters.

Performed by Dan Hurlin
Sets by John Arnone
Lights by Lori Dawson
Puppets by Janie Geiser
Premiered at Dance Theater Workshop, NYC
Toured internationally
AWARD: Village Voice Obie Award, Special Citation

Photo Credits:
Top: Tyler Micoleau
Above and Right: Matthie Roberts