Short Term Listings
BOOKS and CDs
LETTERS TO EDITOR
Writing for Us
A CurtainUp Review
Sadie, the central character, is obviously deeply disturbed by her brief encounter with the director (described by her friend Milton as a "smarmy, jerkoff con man"), though she refuses to admit this to herself or others. She places an ad in Backstage to track down other women who have been approached. Interviews with respondents follow. As her theatrical project gathers steam, the rest of her life spirals out of control. Eventually, the project becomes completely dominant at the expense of all of Sadie's personal relationships. We know this only because what little structure the play possesses disappears by the end of the play. Granted, this is probably intentional, but the play's message and characters become lost and we're left with a muddled, ambiguous mess.
It's a shame for the Flea is one of my favorite theaters and the Bats are some of the finest actors in the city. Lauren Shannon is an arresting Sadie. She crackles with (misplaced) energy and passion, but it's the equivalent of chewing tinfoil in the dark—lots of sparks, with no fire. The best part of the show comes from her friend Milton, played to perfection by Catherine Gowl. She is the weight that keeps the play from spinning off into chaos. Milton is a warm and funny woman who is desperately in love in Sadie, but also realizes the futility of her feelings. It's a tragic love affair that never happens, much like the development of this story.
The concept of the casting couch is not new, and neither is the idea of men trading their power for sex. What is new is that The Director's women all buy into it. They flirt with the director, wink at his lewdness, then call him a cad when he moves on to the next. And a cad he certainly is, with an apparent predilection for getting underage girls pregnant. The other male figure Sadie's boyfriend, Snake, is violent and jealous so he too is not a winner.
Video installations by Dustin O'Neill are visually exciting, but serve no real purpose in either plot or character development. The Director cries out for a good one, or at least one with a firmer hand. A good dramaturg would do wonders, as well.
So many intriguing ideas are put forth but remain unexplored—not the least, Sadie's musings on the proactive role the women all took in their own seductions. Let's hope Cassidy's next play is more solidly structured and developed. With time, she could be a force to reckon with.
Easy-on-the budget super gift for yourself and your musical loving friends. Tons of gorgeous pictures.
Leonard Maltin's 2007 Movie Guide
At This Theater
Leonard Maltin's 2005 Movie Guide