It’s summertime in the Bay Area, which means that San Francisco Mime Troupe season is in full swing. (Disclaimer: I once did some script development work for the group. Disclaimer to the disclaimer: Hardly any of it made it in the show.)

The 52-year-old muckraking musical theater company, which once won a Tony Award in the Regional Theatre category, is back with, “2012 – The Musical.” Here’s the troupe’s description of the show:

A small political theater company, Theater BAM!, finds itself at a crossroads: should they keep telling the stories they feel can change the world (and starve while telling them), or feed at the corporate trough, sell out, and be the mouthpiece for The Man. Tough decision. But before having to make it, they are offered an artistic commission that may save the company; all they have to do is create a new play, “2012 – The Musical!” But is it political? Will it keep with the company’s original mission? What’s the true purpose of this frivolous production, and who’s really bankrolling the thing?

Certainly, you may not like the show’s politics, but you’ll definitely like the price: free, at various Bay Area parks and other outdoor venues through September 25. Check the schedule for shows coming up this Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday (Palo Alto, Mill Valley, Berkeley, San Francisco) and beyond.

Here’s a preview from KGO TV last week:

And here’s a good five minutes of the show from YouTube:

Reviews from the Hurwitts, Robert and Sam, in the Chronicle and Marin Independent Journal, respectively.

On a related note, you may recall that one of the Mime Troupe’s longtime members, Ed Holmes, made international news of sorts in May by releasing balloon animals outside of Harold Camping’s Family Radio on the Rapture Day that wasn’t.

Video: San Francisco Mime Troupe’s “2012 — The Musical” 11 July,2011Jon Brooks

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor