The Internet Theater Magazine of Reviews, Features, Annotated Listings





Etcetera and
Short Term Listings


NYC Restaurants









Free Updates
Writing for Us

Globe Valves,China valve, valve Manufacturer, valve supplier, link check valves, ball valves, Butterfly Valves,valves Butterfly valves 2011.06.05, Gate valves, Ball Valves,Gate Valves,Check Valves Plug Valvesglobe valves, butterfly valves, Zhejiang sedelon valve co.,ltd.
valve factory,valve corporation,valve company China Valve manufacturer and Supplier
A CurtainUp Review

Who am I? ---The Husband
You are A small onion.
A selfish person. A brute.
You are a billy goat
and you are a tight wolf. And you are an otopus bum bum

--- his wife, known only as The Woman. This interchange typifies the obtuse dialogue resulting from the playwright's puzzling methodology for writing this play, beginning with imperfect Spanish and having it translated back into English.

Marielle Heller (Woman) & David Chandler (Husband)
Marielle Heller (Woman) & David Chandler (Husband)
(Photo: Monique Carboni)
If there were an award for the most unusual approach to writing a play, Madelyn Kent would probably win hands down with Peninsula. According to an interview with the SoHo Rep's Associate Artistic Director Sarah Benson that was included with my press kit, Kent, having only a rudimentary knowledge of Spanish, decided to write a play in that language, then had a friend translate it back into English. Perhaps Ms. Kent hoped this would result in a new kind of language -- a Kentish equivalent of Mamet or Pinter or Richard Maxwell. While the resultant dialogue is certainly unique that's unique as in uniquely off-putting and obtuse, and the entire enterprise is a case of a bad play happening to good actors. If there was also an award for the most pretentious play of the season, Kent would again stand an excellent chance of taking first prize.

In between the endless pauses, ungrammatical fragments ("I want to sleeps") and non sequiturs that substitute for meaningful dialogue("you are a small onion . . .an octupus bum-bum"), here's what it's about, or seems to be about: The title sets the scene. We're in a strife torn country (which incidentally seems less Spanish-speaking than Eastern European). Stability and freedom have apparently run amok as evident from the intermittent sounds of explosions and gun shots and the nervous, alienated behavior and abstracted talk of its citizenry.

The deterioration of the overall environment is also reflected in the apparently decaying marriage of the two main characters known only as Husband (David Chandler) and Woman (Marielle Heller). After an opening scene that makes it relatively clear that they are trying to deal with their troubled relationships, the plot takes the form of their various errands around town: She to visit various shops, all with the same clerk in charge (Louis Cancelmi). There's an implication that the woman's outings to clean house for an old woman and shop probably (but not definitely) include sex with the various clerks. . .the husband buys shoes which he claims are for a friend from a clerk (Cancelmi again) who prefers taking a photograph to money; being mysteriously ill, the husband also visits a doctor. The man and woman together also visit a church presided over by a priest (Tim Cummings) who shows up again towards the end in civilian clothes having tired of his priestly duties. His chance encounter with the Woman leads to a rain-drenched, go-nowhere ending.

Besides a cast which is to be commended for dealing with Kent's odd dialogue and what is basically much-done story done up by Kent's in emperor's clothing, Peninsula also boasts a striking set by Narelle Sissons. The theater has been reconfigured so that the stage is wide enough to accommodate Sassons' four wooden double doors that open up to reveal a surprising array of individual sets including a bedroom with small adjoining dressing room that gives the effect of a church confessional, a pharmacy, a hat store and a shoe store. For the encounter between the Woman and ex-priest, instead of the doors swinging open, a board cleverly flips down to become a roof serving as a protective canopy against the rain. Under Ms. Kent's over-stylized directions, the barn-like doors are opened and shut at such a measured pace that even the inventive set is undermined.

The SoHo Rep has built a deserved reputation for presenting quality productions that attract the much sought-after 18 to 35demographic. At the performance I attended the audience was atypically mostly over 35 (a benefit group?) with unsurprisingly quite a few snoozers. But my guess is that even the theater's more usual constituency will find this an interminably long 90 minutes. My advice to playwrights looking for new ways to express themselves: Stick to your native tongue.

Playwright: & Director: Madelyn Kent.
Cast: Louis Cancelmi, David Chandler, Tim Cummings, Curzon Dobell, Marielle Heller
Set Design: Narelle Sisson;
Costume Design: Theresa Squire
Lighting Design: Matt Frey
Sound Design: Kenta Nagas
Running time: 1 hour and 15minutes without intermission
Soho Rep, 46 Walker St.SmartTix 212-868-4444
From 1/12/06 to 2/04/06; opening 1/14/06.
Tickets: $15, open seating
Reviewed by Elyse Sommer based on January 13th press performance
Playbill Broadway Year Book
The new annual to dress up every Broadway lover's coffee table

broadway musicals: the 101 greatest shows of all time
Easy-on-the budget super gift for yourself and your musical loving friends. Tons of gorgeous pictures.

tales from shakespeare
Retold by Tina Packer of Shakespeare & Co.
Click image to buy.
Our Review

At This Theater Cover
At This Theater

Leonard Maltin's 2005 Movie Guide
Leonard Maltin's 2005 Movie Guide

Ridiculous! The Theatrical Life and Times of Charles Ludlam
Ridiculous!The Theatrical Life & Times of Charles Ludlam

metaphors dictionary cover
>6, 500 Comparative Phrases including 800 Shakespearean Metaphors by our editor.
Click image to buy.
Go here for details and larger image.

The Broadway Theatre Archive


©Copyright 2006, Elyse Sommer.
Information from this site may not be reproduced in print or online without specific permission from