Review – Collective Rage: A Play in 5 Betties

MCC Theater is ensconced in the Lucille Lortel Theatre this season and has mounted a new play written by Jen Silverman and directed by Mike Donahue.  While it brings to mind the ground breaking “Vagina Monologues” it has taken the feminist body image advocacy in Eve Ensler’s play and thrown in SNL style improv accomplished by five characters each named Betty.  They each have distinct characters, approaches and styles that come together in revolving short scenes.  Always engaging and frequently funny it is also somewhat ragged and ultimately satisfying.

Betty 2 (Adina Verson, who was terrific last season in “Indecent”) has the most fully written character and captures the evening with a terrific coda.  Betty 3 (Ana Villafane, who was terrific in “On Your Feet”) shapes the narrative after spending an evening in the “theatuh” at what she recalls as “Summer Midnight Dream.”  She leaves her job at Sephora’s to mount a play within a play to find fame and fulfillment with all the other Betties.  Betty 1 (Dana Delaney, terrific many years ago in “Dinner With Friends”) uses her role in the play to make the largest transformation of the five.  Betty 4 (Lea DeLaria, terrific a couple of seasons ago in “On The Town”) is predictably the most militant and memorable presence.  Betty 5 (Chaunte Wayans, new to me and the stage) rounds out a terrific cast.

If the above seems a bit convoluted, it is but still hangs together well for a fun night in the theater.  Special kudos to the scenic design of Dane Laffrey which adds to the surreal and energetic stage action.  This play will not be enjoyed by all, especially if you cannot tolerate the repeated use of the word for the part of the female anatomy that some President may want to grab.  But it is impelled by female empowerment that has been growing in the theater world for some time and has now gained a foothold in our political world.  I recommend the production and hope you can see it in the limited time left.

Collective Rage_A Play in 5 Betties

As always you can find more at http://www.walterthinnes.com and on Twitter @walterthinnes

SHOW DISCOUNTS CURRENTLY OFFERED THROUGH MY BLOG:

Tickets are now on sale for the Players Theatre Short Play Festival at 115 MacDougal Street in Greenwich Village that includes my script THE RIDE DOWN MOUNT SCARY in October.  It is directed by Pamela Wilson and features Carly Ruda, Eric Diamond, Maggie Hunter and Christopher Delacruz.  My play is featured in the third week of the festival on October 25, 26 & 27 at 7 PM and October 28 at 3 PM. You can buy tickets in advance at www.shortplaynyc.com.  If you use the discount code CAST the usual $30 ticket magically becomes $20.  Hope to see you there.
We are thrilled to be partnering with MY PARSIFAL CONDUCTOR, the world premiere, Off-Broadway play written by multiple EMMY Award-Winning Allan Leicht, directed by Robert Kalfin and produced by The Directors Company by special arrangement with Ted Snowden, featuring Eddie Korbich as Richard Wagner, Claire Brownell as Cosima Wagner and Geoffrey Cantor as Hermann Levi. MY PARSIFAL CONDUCTOR is a comedic spin on real-life events of famous composer Richard Wagner (“Vagner”) and the Jewish conductor that brought his final masterpiece to life.  We are happy to share a special discount offer for up to 52% off for our loyal followers.  Visit: https://myparsifalconductor.com/, call (866) 811-4111 or visit the Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater at the West Side YMCA 10 West 64th Street New York, NY 10023, and use code “PMPCMKT” for performance 9/25 – 10/10 and “MPCMKT” for performances 10/12 – 11/3.  Enjoy the show!

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