Pop Tarts

In a nutshell, here’s the problem with pop culture:

Marilyn Monroe created the template.

Madonna was a knockoff, but a scam artist with enough personal charisma and talent to make the theft seem in some ways like an homage.

Britney Spears is what’s left after all the inbreeding: a hollow shell of American sensuality. To this day, we bet the sad, stunted electro-pop waif has no idea that she’s been mechanically aping the spirit of the late screen goddess.

Pop culture. Can’t live with it, can’t function without it. It’d be like driving to work and not having a car crash to gawk at. Unthinkable.

Progressive Theatre Workshop skewers our Great American Car Wreck in Britney Spears for President, John Caswell Jr.’s satire about an airheaded couple of nincompoops named Cheryl and Steve who recast themselves as Britney and Brad and set off on an orgy of foreign-baby adoptions, plastic surgeries, eating-disorder yuk-ups, and general tabloid buffoonery.

Thu., Oct. 2, 8 p.m.; Fri., Oct. 3, 8 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 4, 8 p.m.; Thu., Oct. 9, 8 p.m.; Fri., Oct. 10, 8 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 11, 8 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 12, 8 p.m., 2008