ADVERTISING AT CURTAINUP
Short Term Listings
BOOKS and CDs
LETTERS TO EDITOR
Writing for Us
A CurtainUp Review
The play involves some intricate layering of reality. Natasha and Danny are rehearsing a play in which she plays a whore and he a junkie. Along the way, they become similarly involved in real life. He becomes a junkie, and she. . .well, you can imagine. They have several scenes together that leave us usure as to whether they're rehearsing their roles or if it's "real." Gavin, their director, spurs them to ever-greater heights of emotional reality so it doesn't take long for their personal lives to keep intruding in very real and unwanted ways.
All this probably sounds like a cautionary tale, but it's not. . There's no moralizing despite some very outré elements (oral sex, anal sex, vomiting, a strap-on dildo, bloody intestines a dead dog, and more). Obviously this can be a hard play to watch. In fact, it proved too much for at least one audience member when I attended. However, most of the audience seemed to enjoy it, usually laughing at the really exaggerated parts (which, I think, is the point).
Marin Ireland (Natasha) comes to this play fresh from a great performance in The Beebo Brinker Chronicles. She's a talent to watch. Her Natasha is emotionally pitch-perfect. Ryan O'Nan as the bumbling Danny is quite comical in his complete ineffectualness, and Rob Campbell is a delight as the frenetic director He embodies all the stereotypes of angry directors, without coming across as a stereotype.
Director Trip Cullman has used the strangely shaped Ohio Theatre to great advantage. Rather than boxing off a playing area, he simply lets the actors and sets roam so that we see all the real-life bits of the venue (racks of lights, costumes, random lamps, etc.) being utilized as part of the play's rehearsal and performance space. Cullman keeps the actors from being either too frenetic or too shrill, emphasizing the search for human connection that is at the heart of the play.
Try onlineseats.com for great seats to
The Little Mermaid
Shrek The Musical
The Playbill Broadway YearBook
Leonard Maltin's 2007 Movie Guide