Sunday, December 02, 2012

Estrogenius Short Plays: Program C

A woman giving up on her marriage; the last lesbian on earth; breasts whose feelings are hurt because their owner finds them too small; a mega-multi-tasking woman with a mysterious past; and an 86-year-old former Rockette who lives happily in the past. These characters reflect the intriguing range of the most recent Estrogenius Festival, Program C. 

Books Not Now: written by Kira Lauren, directed by Sharon Hunter, featuring Kate Dulcich and John Say. This break-up tale covered familiar ground, but it succeeded at showing the sadness of missed chances. 

Life on Mars: written by Trish Cole, directed by Sara Lyons, featuring Libby Collins, Marcie Henderson, and Patrick Walsh. All lesbians, save one, have been sent to Mars--and now the last one, hand-cuffed and guarded, is about to be put on a transport out. Played mostly for laughs, the play was also touching in its own way, and it was nicely directed and acted. 

Bazookas: written by Sharon Goldner, directed by Olivia Kinter, featuring Sabrina Blackburn, Yvonne Gougelet, and MaryLynn Suchan. This tale of a woman's complaints about her breasts--and their complaints back--was very much not my cup of tea and it went on too long; however, it was effective, the rest of audience was clearly amused, and the breasts managed to be more than boobs. 

Jennifer Bourne Identity, written by Hilary King, directed by Kathryn McConnell, featuring Jeff Johnson and Annalisa Loeffler. This well-directed and well-acted satire of both the Bourne Identity and modern overbusy women earned all of its many laughs through nice writing, excellent pacing, and perfectly calibrated performances. A well-oiled machine, indeed. 

Rosie the Retired Rockette, written by Daniel Guyton, directed by Heather Cohn, featuring Monica Furman, Vivian Meisner, Marianne Miller, and Kristen Vaughan, choreographed by Stephanie Willing. When Dawn and her two daughters visit Dawn's mother, Rosie, in a nursing home, Rosie believes that she is in her dressing room at Radio City and that her granddaughters are two new Rockettes. While the granddaughters enjoy Rosie's scandalous stories--Rosie was a wild one--Dawn needs her mother to see and recognize her. The acting was lovely, the direction was quite good, and the story was moving, but something kept this show from achieving its full potential--perhaps the lack of a real ending, perhaps the sentimentality and abruptness of the music at the end, or perhaps simply that this play wants to be longer.

($18 full-priced seat; second row)

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