By Theresa Rebeck
Directed by Kate Ingram
Starring Gracie Winchester
UCF Conservatory Theatre, Orlando FL
Nothing like some post-modern feminist fun in these dog days of summer. Legal secretary Georgie (Winchester) is pretty hot, she’s has a huge crush on her straight male best friend Andrew (Josh Wise). He gives great foot massages and won’t have sex with her – something about a pending marriage to Lydia (Olivia Murphy). Georgie’s boss Edward (Jason Osorio) hit on her, Andrew screams rape and harassment but Georgie feels it’s just part of the job. She hates Eddie, she tries to rape Eddie, she decides Andrew stole Lydia from Eddie, and is offended to conclude Eddie traded Lydia to Andrew for Georgie, a first round draft choice and a relief pitcher. It’s hard to keep all these shenanigans straight, especially the second act where author Rebeck tries to get every possible love-hate relation on stage, all in the service of Georgie getting out of the business of pleasing men in into the more exciting field of getting men to please her.
I loved it. It was funny and fast paced, well acted and well directed. Despite Georgie’s mercurial relation with the men in her life, she always seems grounded in a self preservation mode that allowed her to play the guys like amateurs at a Texas Hold ‘Em tournament. While Eddie was notionally the sexual predator, his goofy guyness forgave all sins and the implication that he couldn’t always deliver the goods despite his Lothario-in-a-Sharkskin-Suit image gave him some depth. Andrew was a bit doughy. Although he’s the guy out to make the world more equitable he’s more likely to blend in with Olivia’s snooty Beacon Hill set despite his politics.
I see this as a feminist play because Rebeck puts words in men’s mouths I have trouble imagining them saying in real life: Andrew tells Georgie “we need to talk about this” and both Andrew and Eddie keep asking “How does that make you feel?” heck, they even ask it of each other. And while the story is set in Boston with cool back lit cityscapes to set the mood, Rebeck keeps getting Georgie stuck in “The Subway.” Last time I checked they had a different name for the MTA up there. Despite these nits, this is a fun way to spend a toasty evening, and you may even see yourself in this tangled web although your loves probably weren’t as complicated. Or maybe they were worse.
For more information on UCF Conservatory Theatre, visit http://www.theatre.ucf.edu