By John Lyle Belden
As you enter the Theatre on the Square main stage for “Ca-Ching: A Modern American Religious Drama” by Nomads Collective, the actors are already on stage bantering. Yes, this is one of those truly “Fringe” shows where things get kind of odd.
In between the dance breaks, we get the stories of various characters affected by today’s economic struggles: a minimum-wage worker fixated on and frustrated by how little he makes for his constant labor; a couple faced with the choice of a leaky roof or no home at all, but the man has a talent he doesn’t realize could save them; Father Jobs, an idealistic innovator dismayed at how his world-changing inventions aren’t necessarily changing things for the better; an artist who discovers Jobs’ latest device, but she finds it easier to cash in than create; and Big Spender, who seems to embody the evils of capitalism in a single man. The big guy will get you ahead in life, but you might have to debase yourself.
The presentation is unusual – maybe not for everyone – but give it a chance. In the hours afterward, as I considered what I had seen, the message and meanings started coming through. And as another Fringer told me, if the show makes you think, isn’t that what this festival is about?