Ostensibly about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the dynamic members of New York-based Universes (writers and performers of “Ameriville”) quickly take this high-powered percussion- and vocals-driven show down a twisting American path that leads out of New Orleans and into rapid-fire discussions of topics ranging from homelessness to healthcare to illegal immigrants. By the time they start decrying fracking and predicting a Latina president, it’s a bit too clear that this piece has a target audience. These hot-button topics could each spawn their own full-length show, but here they’re mostly treated superficially, usually with a quick statistic and a creative piece of dance, stand-up or song. There’s a liberal sense of heavy-handedness and safety here, as if to say: “Things are terrible, but at least no one in this audience is part of the problem.” The energy of the cast stomping around on Brian Sidney Bembridge’s less-is-more set is infectious and director Chay Yew highlights the troupe’s collaborative strengths, but the content would benefit from more cohesion and less partisanship. (Zach Freeman)
At Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 North Lincoln, (773)871-3000. Through February 26.