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.