The ABCs

comedy · mooki entertainment · Ages 14+ · United States of America

world premiere
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Review by DOUGLAS DOMINGO-FORASTE

June 25, 2017 certified reviewer
tagged as: thoughtful · surprising · affecting

What I liked

All the actresses were very good. Even though the theater was intimate, maybe a little more projection would have been helpful at times, but most of the diction was fine. I thought the actress playing Margot (Lani Engstrom) was particularly effective. The actress playing Bella (Lauren Henning) also played the right combination of her character’s half vulnerable child and half wannabe bad girl.

The play itself was well written with complex themes hidden behind a light and charming foreground of high-school chatter. Surprising anagnorisis and peripateia as the group’s leadership changes hands would have met Aristotle’s expectations for complexity. Good interpretation by the actresses and the director. All in all, a worthy theater experience.

What I didn't like

A couple of the actresses seemed to feel uncomfortable changing clothes on stage and that discomfort drifted out into the audience. There was no overt or even partial nudity, but the director might have made a better choice than having them strip down to their underwear. Not that the clothes change itself was uncomfortable for the audience, but its effect on a couple of the actresses affected the flow of play. However, that said, I recognized the baring of their bodies as indicative of the baring of their emotions. So I could certainly see the reason for the director’s choice.

My overall impression

I didn’t really have any expectations about the play, but it turned out to be complex and thoughtful. The use of Margot as both a narrator and a character was a very clever plot device. I was extremely impressed. I wish there were a ratings choice between “pretty good” and “amazing.” I am torn between the two. It is not the absolute greatest play I’ve ever seen, but it was better than just “pretty good.”

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