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|A CurtainUp Review
By Jenny Sandman
The play revolves around moving day for Christopher, a New York executive. His movers are two buffoons with exaggerated Popeye-like muscles and gratingly fake Cockney accents. They speak and move almost in slow motion. When Christopher's girlfriend Jessica comes in, they settle down to read the Sunday Times while the movers do their work, bringing in boxes and boxes of what seem to be expensive electronics, luxury items and high-end appliances. What the boxes are really filled with is bits s of styrofoam which they proceed to dump all over the stage in growing piles of styrofoam peanuts.
Throughout all this Christopher and Jessica keep perusing the paper for new musicals and full-page full-color fashion and car ads while blatantly ignoring most of the news--except for the Sports and the Business sections. They are drawn to anything with color and flash and thus the styrofoam becomes a handy metaphor for their vapid, consumerist lives.
Finally we see styrofoam peanuts rain down while the movers just shovel it in. It fills up the apartment just as they are allowing their lives to be filled up nothing of value.
Keri Meoni as Jessica is utterly believable in her flightiness. Since flighty people do have a tendency to quickly become tiresome, kudos to her for maintaining such a character. Dan Roach as Christopher is the best of the foursome; the movers try to do a good job with the enervated material, but theirs is a lost cause.
Though playwright Kevin Doyle takes pains to separate Styrofoam from absurdism, he needn't worry. The play is less an homage to absurdism than to bad cartoons and superficiality. We get the point of the play almost immediately; most of it is spent hammering home what we've already inferred. A large chunk of the script could easily be cut. Moreover, it moves slowly, prolonging what should be a gallop to the rather (intentionally) repulsive ending.
Mendes at the Donmar
At This Theater
Leonard Maltin's 2003 Movie and Video Guide
Ridiculous!The Theatrical Life & Times of Charles Ludlam
Somewhere For Me, a Biography of Richard Rodgers
The New York Times Book of Broadway: On the Aisle for the Unforgettable Plays of the Last Century
6, 500 Comparative Phrases including 800 Shakespearean Metaphors by CurtainUp's editor.
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