‘Army’ a blast, from protests past

Photos by Rodolfo Abularach The gang’s all here: a cast of 35 swells the ranks of “The Bonus Army.”

Photos by Rodolfo Abularach
The gang’s all here: a cast of 35 swells the ranks of “The Bonus Army.”

Judson Arts’ immersive “environmental theatre” production of David Epstein’s classic 1976 American protest musical boasts a cast of 35, a rousing score and lyrics by four-time Obie-winning composer Al Carmines and a wealth of social, economic and political issues that 2013 audiences will surely regard as utterly contemporary (and quite possibly, contemptible).

You’re in the Army now: Judson Arts’ production of a 1976 classic depicts a protest that echoes the OWS movement.

You’re in the Army now: Judson Arts’ production of a 1976 classic depicts a protest that echoes the OWS movement.

It’s 1932 — and in the dark early days of the Great Depression, a movement that could have been called “Occupy D.C.” is beginning to ferment. Tens of thousands of unemployed World War I veterans travel from all over the United States to march on Washington, D.C., demanding that Congress (which had voted the war veterans a cash bonus to be paid in 1945), redeem their bonus certificates immediately. They called themselves the Bonus Expeditionary Force, but were known as “The Bonus Army.”

Through Sept. 19. Wed.-Sat. at 8pm, Sun. at 3pm. Tues., Sept. 17 at 8pm. At The Gym at Judson Memorial Church (243 Thompson St., at Washington Sq. South). Tickets are $18. Order at brownpapertickets.com. The two-hour runtime includes one 15-minute intermission. For more info: judson.org/bonusarmy.

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