Thursday, April 15, 2010

Another Helping

Mr. Porter posted a couple of his reviews yesterday, a rave about "Elizabeth Rex" and a qualified endorsement of "Butterflies are Free."

A couple of days ago someone commented with a question about my thoughts on “Full Plate Collection,” which I saw during its successful run at Theatre IV’s Little Theatre last month. In short, I thought it was an impressive and highly-entertaining debut for this new play. Above all, it was a wonderfully smart show, addressing issues of feminism and empowerment in a playful and creative way. I was a little mixed on some of the songs but “Rack ‘Em Up” was a scream, a fantastic tribute to mammary glands that must have greatly taxed Ms. Ziegler’s thesaurus.

The performances were consistent in their excellence, though I have to say that I loved Laine Satterfield’s “Boopsie” most of all, in part because she had a few fabulously twisted/funny lines. Melissa Johnston-Price and Debbie Walton as the hosts were delightful and little Hanna Clinton is growing into an impressive stage veteran. I also loved Stacie Reardon Hall’s “bad mommy” but I don’t want to explore that one too closely; I’m sure it points to something deeply psychologically wrong with me.

My concerns about the show run along the lines of wondering how invested stage-goers can get in characters that are supposed to be “icons” rather than real people. There’s a certain emotional distance built in with the setup that complicates things. For instance, the blurry line between the Rosemary character being symbolic versus real made me have a mixed reaction to her final scene. Though Kimberly Jones-Clark’s performance was wonderful, I ended up feeling a little more manipulated than moved.

Having said that, I really enjoyed the handling of the Babs character, and the way her portrayal – with a first-rate performance by Courtney McCotter – highlighted the complexity of the whole objectification issue. Sure, Babs is shallow and obsessed with the superficial but that’s the plate everyone wants to buy. Hmmm…

So, all-in-all, a fun and feisty night of entertainment that makes you think without being boring or pedantic. That’s a triumph in my book.


Irene Ziegler said...

I appreciate the review, Dave. Thanks a lot for your thoughtful comments. Irene

Anonymous said...

Yeah!! Dave's back blogging!!!! Thank you Dave for all you do!!


Jeffrey Cole said...

You've been missed, sir. Come on out to the Rouge, if time allows.