The Foundry Theatre

Melanie Joseph, Producing Artistic Director

presents

THE ROARING GIRLE

Written by ALICE TUAN

Adapted by ALICE TUAN and MELANIE JOSEPH

from

THE ROARING GIRLE (1611)

By THOMAS MIDDLETON and THOMAS DEKKER

www.thefoundrytheatre.org

 

Baruch Performing Arts Center, 55 Lexington Avenue (Entrance on 25 St. bet. Third & Lex. Aves.), NYC

February 21 – March 21, 2004

 

Directed by MELANIE JOSEPH

Produced by BONNIE METZGAR

Choreographer DAVID NEUMANN

Sets LOUISA THOMPSON

Lighting NATASHA KATZ

Costumes DOEY LUTHI

Sound JILL BC DU BOFF

Fight Choreography RON PIRETTI

Stage Manager JANE POLE

Press Representative SPIN CYCLE

Cast

Okwui Okpokwasili – Moll Cutpurse (A Roaring Girle)

Harry Hogan – Lord Noland, Mr. Openwork

Marissa Copeland – Sir Davy Dapper, Pru Gallipot

Douglas Rees – Alexander Rees

John Epperson – Mr. Gallipot, Lavenderia

Rebecka Ray – Ros Openwork

Michael Urie – Sebastian Wengrave

Clove Galilee – Tif, Various

Michael Huston – Fen, Various

Jodi Lin – Mary Fitzgallard

Steven Rattazzi – Laxton

Andrew McGinn – Trapdoor

Steve Cuiffo – Various

Mike Caban – Various

THE ROARING GIRLE is a stellar example of a creatively ambitious notion gone horribly awry, in many directions, all at one time. Conducted in a style best summed up as, "Actors, do whatever you want. It is not possible for your characterizations to be too inconsistent. Dramaturgy? What’s that?," this play, adapted by Alice Tuan and Melanie Joseph from a much older work of the same name exhibits quite clearly that tinkering with time can have onerous consequences.

In terms of plot in THE ROARING GIRLE, we are introduced to a hybrid-era town, where the laws are more than punitive and designed to quash individual freedoms, but where the citizens at all levels of the economic stratosphere find ways to circumvent expectations. Theater is outlawed, and soon smoking even in private is too. Of course, such prohibitionist tactics breed the expected subculture of paybacks, bribes and machinations. Of course, the culture clashes mean that the son of "Super Rich" Alexander Wengrave, Sebastian, wants to wed a penniless lass called Mary, much to daddy’s chagrin.

Of course, The roaring girl of THE ROARING GIRLE, one Moll Cutpurse, an androgynously dressed power-woman who flaunts her sexuality and pens plays, will ultimately save the day. As Moll, performer Okwui Okpokwasili has the stature and the manner required, but her line delivery is not sharp, and this undermines the implicit strength the character is meant to have. She tries, and at least she is not excruciatingly annoying, as is Jodi Lin’s Mary, when played solo or as part of a handful of busy ensemble pieces. John Epperson is all but wasted in a dual role (readers may know him as performer Lypsinka), Marissa Copeland, also playing two parts, is given some room to shine, and Andrew McGinn gets to poke fun at the speeches in current events, but overall, no one really has the quiet stage time to make a clear impression.

I knew that things are particularly bad when I was able to spot four or five locations on set pieces where the SmartTix number (yes, the agent doing the ticketing for this event) was used as the phone number for a quite unrelated establishment. That tidbit, I submit to the readers, stands as the shining example of the base level of desperation at work here. The set and costumes were actually good, but the actors shout, the girls attempt to roar, and some promising points are largely lost in the overall cacophony called THE ROARING GIRLE.

Obviously, I am not recommending that readers attend THE ROARING GIRLE, but if you think you might want to, as an added attraction, the play runs over two hours with an intermission. At least the seats are comfortable!

- Kessa De Santis -

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