THEATER | DANCE | CLASSICAL MUSIC | OPERA | COMEDY

NORTH TEXAS PERFORMING ARTS NEWS

REVIEWS

<em>Migration</em>

Review: Damn!sels | House Party Theatre | The Wild Detectives


Tower Vacated

House Party Theatre delivers Damn!sels, an engaging evening of short works created and produced by women at the Wild Detectives in Oak Cliff.



published Saturday, May 13, 2017

Photo: Mark Lowry
Break Room
Photo: Mark Lowry
Migration

 

 

Dallas — What better venue for immersion theater celebrating fed-up wild women than The Wild Detectives bookstore, with its hot inner city vibe and backyard picnic tables and performance space?

House Party Theatre company member Haley Nelson, along with Sarah Hamilton and Kristen Kelso, produce DAMN!sels, an all-woman short play festival based on the stuff that actually distresses young damsels in today’s crazed, if not totally broken, social and economic climate. They are written, directed and designed by women. Only three of the 10 cast members are men. The works presented are forthright, questing and sometimes hilariously right on. The three plays are delivered in a raw 100 minutes, one following the other with short musical interludes by women musicians, with barebones sets on the deck, on the tables, and at the space next to the alley gate.

On Friday, the attentive audience shifted and moved their drinks as one show ended and the next began. Talk about being in the middle of the action.

The evening opens with Migration, by Anyika McMillan-Herod, co-founder of Soul Rep Theatre Company and a playwright familiar to Dallas theatergoers. Director Selena Anguiano plants us firmly in a bookstore with the owner, a middle-aged white man (Bert Pigg) chatting about being a middle-aged white man with a beautiful bi-racial girl (Morgana Wilborn) who loves her handsome black fiancé (Kazy Amoi) almost as much as classical jazz, which her daddy instilled in her from birth. The plot thickens when the orphaned-from-five young woman spots the owner’s red-headed wife (Angela Wilson) unpacking boxes and utters a stunned, “Mom?!” The play is essentially two fascinating monologues about the trials of interracial marriage in a world far from colorblind. Dialogue is used more as a trigger for personal memory than a revelation of character, but we have a strong sense of how both women depict the role of love in real life, and how personal memory can both sustain and delude us.

Break Room, a hilarious dark comedy by Janielle Kastner, is directed by Shelby-Allison Hibbs with clarity and fast-breaking comic pacing. Kastner marvelously weaves together into one play the personal angst and mini-victories of three women working in “brick and mortar retail” and trying to answer their life questions and invent themselves online. It’s a little like watching three strung-out stand-up comics sheltering each other like background singers or a Greek chorus or stinging each other like harpies. Martissa Lopez is painfully funny as a teenager trying to get answers from Yahoo about whether she could get pregnant from advanced petting, described in increasingly hilarious and intimate detail. Ally Harrison is a “seasonal employee” at the place, trying to make ends meet with a husband working in the oil fields and a messy toddler to raise. The best bit of the entire evening is her self-questioning about the time she’s invested in creating a fake blog life, for which she gets increasing hits and a candle company endorsement, compared to the actual time she spends in a real park with her actual child. Kelly Kielmeyer is a veteran retail worker with a running bitch about getting her humble Mazda slammed in parking lots. “Am I not worthy of my space?” she asks. Talk of a crowded planet and blog overloads make us laugh ands cringe at once.

Narrated: Saved, written by Eva MeiLing Pollitt and directed by Kristen Kelso, is essentially what its title suggests: a one-woman performance piece about the nightmares and terrors of a clinically depressed young woman as narrated by Claire Carson, with Zoe Kerr moving silently as the exhausted girl. Carson is on the tabletops and all over the place, as she tells of the woman’s numbing loneliness and heartbreak when her latest lover (Cole Cordell) walks out. A light glimmers toward the end of the fierce tirade, and we all feel relief for the young woman when Carson says, “That’s it.  The play’s over.”

The time flies by, and the audience leaves with a wave of empathy for the women we’ve met during the evening, and three cheers for the playwrights who brought them to the house party. Thanks For Reading





Dates, Prices, & Other Details

View the Article Slideshow

Comment on this Article

Share this article on Social Media
Click or Swipe to close
Tower Vacated
House Party Theatre delivers Damn!sels, an engaging evening of short works created and produced by women at the Wild Detectives in Oak Cliff.
by Martha Heimberg

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Click or Swipe to close
Discord Turtle Creek Chorale Electra Tony Watch Party Talking Pictures Into The Woods Discord Turtle Creek Chorale Electra Tony Watch Party Talking Pictures Into The Woods Discord Turtle Creek Chorale Electra Tony Watch Party Talking Pictures Into The Woods Discord Turtle Creek Chorale Electra Tony Watch Party Talking Pictures Into The Woods Discord Turtle Creek Chorale Electra Tony Watch Party Talking Pictures Into The Woods Discord Turtle Creek Chorale Electra Tony Watch Party Talking Pictures Into The Woods Discord Turtle Creek Chorale Electra Tony Watch Party Talking Pictures Into The Woods Discord Turtle Creek Chorale Electra Tony Watch Party Talking Pictures Into The Woods Discord Turtle Creek Chorale Electra Tony Watch Party Talking Pictures Into The Woods Discord Turtle Creek Chorale Electra Tony Watch Party Talking Pictures Into The Woods Discord Turtle Creek Chorale Electra Tony Watch Party Talking Pictures Into The Woods Discord Turtle Creek Chorale Electra Tony Watch Party Talking Pictures Into The Woods Discord Turtle Creek Chorale Electra Tony Watch Party Talking Pictures Into The Woods Discord Turtle Creek Chorale Electra Tony Watch Party Talking Pictures Into The Woods Discord Turtle Creek Chorale Electra Tony Watch Party Talking Pictures Into The Woods Discord Turtle Creek Chorale Electra Tony Watch Party Talking Pictures Into The Woods Discord Turtle Creek Chorale Electra Tony Watch Party Talking Pictures Into The Woods Discord Turtle Creek Chorale Electra Tony Watch Party Talking Pictures Into The Woods Discord Turtle Creek Chorale Electra Tony Watch Party Talking Pictures Into The Woods Discord Turtle Creek Chorale Electra Tony Watch Party Talking Pictures Into The Woods
Click or Swipe to close
reviews
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
audiocasts
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
contests
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
crowdfunding
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
studio
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web



Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:


Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:


TheaterJones Section:


Category:
Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Search
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  



Your Name:
Your Email Adress:


please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :
Submit