Friday June 23rd 2017

“Women Are Crazy Because Men Are A **holes”

Somewhat Recommended   How do we get young people to the theater? For little ones, we do fairy tales and nursery rhymes! For teen-agers, plays based on teen themes and for “young Adults” ( the 21-30 year olds), Sex! Cyur Studios, Very Adult Comedy, ” Women Are Crazy Because Men Are A**holes” is back in Chicago, after a successful run in Los Angeles ( of course) and a trial run last summer at our own Mercury Theatre on its way to “off-Broadway” in New York. The story is supposed to be about relationships and takes place in a day- a day that will go down in history for the five couples involved in this fast paced hour and 40 minutes of little scenes written by Brad T. Gottfred, who also directed this production. While there are some cute scenes, some of which designed to get a laugh just from the “shock” value, I find the entire production incomplete. The younger set in the opening night audience ( many of them friends of the performers) laughed at things that I did not  find funny. Anyone who has ever sat in an audience where I am present knows that I love to laugh. In fact, I never hold back despite Jane’s elbow. If it is funny, I will laugh. I did not find this as funny as it might have been.

The Greenhouse is an intimate space, one that should allow the audience to hear the actors , and yet I found that  Mandy ( JJ Nolan) used her voice to a disadvantage. She had some lines that might have been fun to hear but never projected to the back row and spoke way to fast. Why it is that young actresses seem to do a lot of this? Perhaps she will learn to make her words heard during the run. She has a great scene with her best friend,Nicole ( deftly handled by Mandy Henderson, who has no diction problem at all). This scene is hysterical, but for those of you who are not into “sex scenes” is one that deals with women in bed together. In fact, a lot of this  play’s little scenes are about sex and the title is a bit misleading in that the women in this script are crazy without the need to blame the men and their treatment of women.

The plot is about Nicole, a woman who has yet to find her “soull-mate) and the arrival of Dylan ( great comic timing by Kimani Shillingford) an internet  date who has come to meet her at last. She has invited all of her friends to meet him at a special brunch as she feels that he is THE man for her. There is no chemistry between them, but he finds her sister ( the adorable Deanna Smith) Bella far more to his liking. She however is dating Reynold ( Blake Boyd, who handles comedy with a great flair) who as it turns out is not ready for her at all. Mandy’s boyfriend ( a cutesy character played by Trevor Morgan) is somewhat bewildered and more of a teen-ager than a young adult.

The other two couples are Hilary ( Tunisia Hardison) and George ( Baxter Defy) who have just broken up but are coming to the brunch anyway, but they never make it- well, they make it! But not to the brunch, and Tim, ( Adam Schulmerich), Nicole’s brother and Phoenix ( Somer Benson, always a treat to watch on stage, but I find her facial jewelry distracting), about to break up. As you can see, none of these people are worthwhile and deserve any caring by any of us. Each character has his or her own problems and while you might find yourself laughing at some of the comic touches, for the most part, you will leave the theater being grateful that your life is not what you just witnessed on the stage. All of them are A**holes, with no real redeeming qualities.

Some of these cast members will change before the show closes here on September 25th and heads to New York, but I doubt that a change in actors can make these characters any different than written.There are no credits for the set design or props  or even the lighting ( needs a little work), but the music producer , Corey Moss, uses wonderful music to set tones. The costumes ( again, no credit given) are kind of just clothes, but there is a reference to Apples ( all men have red shirts, or at least close) and oranges ( the women have something in the orange family), so they can play off the old expression “can’t compare apples and oranges” but with sexual overtones. If you enjoy pure escapism, love sexual innuendo and are in the aforementioned  age group, you might find this funny.

“A**holes” will continue at The Greenhouse Theater Center located at 2257 N. Lincoln Avenue ( a street just crawling with the right age group) through September 25th with performances as follows:

Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m. , Saturdays at 5 and 8:30 p.m. and Sundays at 5 p.m.

Tickets start at $29.69 ( another little inudendo) and are available at the box office, by phone at 773-404-7336 or online at www.greenhousetheater.org.

To learn more about this theater company, check out www.cyur.com where you can also purchase tickets and see what is coming soon!

 

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