The power of positive thinking can be found everywhere from Oprah Winfrey to evangelical churches to books like The Secret. But Seth Lepore is critical. "Do we need to be happy all the time?" he asks about the movement, which encourages people to be perennially cheery. "Those people scare me."
The happiness movement is the target of the Naropa University graduate's one-man show, SuperHappyMelancholyexpialidocious, which opens tonight in Boulder. As the followup to his critically acclaimed Losing My Religion, the show analyzes and lampoons the self-help industry. Lepore plays all the characters in order to portray his own battle with depression and to shed light on the movement that he believes projects guilt and shame onto anyone who's not unceasingly chipper. "It seems like we're constantly dissatisfied with where we're at; there's always something bothering us," he says. "I think that that's actually a good thing; it keeps us in our critical-thinking skills."