Friday, March 31, 2017

Review of Born Ready at The Factory Theater

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Born Ready. It was by Stacie Barra, and it was directed by Wm. Bullion. It was about a woman named Marion Kroft (Eleanor Katz) and she had been a child star and once she wasn't a child anymore she got her own variety show. One day a new dancer named Harriet (Clara Byczkowski) arrives and they find out she is very funny and has a lot of talent so they give her a part on the show. Over time, Marion and Harriet develop a meaningful friendship that shapes Marion into a better person and puts Harriet on the same path to fame that Marion was on before, which isn't completely a good thing. It is about what it is like being a woman in show business, chosen family, and the difference between t.v. and real life. I thought the show was really fun and an awesome look at t.v. shows in the 1950s.

I really liked the commercials. I thought it was funny how they were all strangely suggestive. I think my favorite ones were the one for cereal and the one for ladies' "body wash." The cereal one I thought was very funny because the dancers--Betty (Rachel Craig), Lois (Aimee Binder), Shirley (Libby Conkle), and Harriet--wore cereal boxes, which is not a very natural thing for dancers to wear. The announcer (Eric Roach) talked about having highly processed grains like it was a great thing, which it certainly isn't in this time and age right now. They had these fans they used for the commercial for feminine wash, and I found that very funny because they used the fans to make some very strange, but appropriate-for-what-I-think-they-were-selling, shapes. It was funny how the commercials would interrupt some of the most serious moments with a bit of hilarity. The commercials made you feel like you were actually there at Marion's show.

One of my favorite scenes was when Evelyn (Mandy Walsh) was first introduced. She was a reporter who basically spread all of the gossip about all the stars. She reminded me a lot of Rita Skeeter from the Harry Potter books. What is happening is that Harriet and Marion are being interview by Evelyn with Sam (Timothy C. Amos), Marion's husband, there for moral support. From the second Evelyn walks in you can tell that everyone else in the room absolutely hates her. But it is kind of like her fuel how much everyone hates her. I thought that it was really funny all the loathing glances that everyone in the scene would have towards each other. And also whenever they would have a sip of their drink, they would just give each other the most disgusted side-eye and I loved it so much.

Another scene I loved was the scene when Byron (Tim Newell), who was the television executive, was talking on the phone and his secretary Irma (Christy Arington) walked in and she just was so excited that the Christmas decorations had gotten in. And then she immediately goes into decorating mode, decorating his office without really caring about him being on the phone, but then once she tires to move his phone while he's talking on it for decor reasons, she feels super bad about it. I thought both of these characters were really hilarious. I loved how there was kind of this easter egg near the end where you see Irma smoking and not really giving a crap. I feel like she is saying "I've worked for this guy for years and I'm still working for him--I deserve a smoke." Basically the whole show is promoting smoking as a thing to clear your sinuses and relieve your stress. And Irma seems to have caught on to the trend.

Dottie (Allison Cain) was the costume lady and she basically raised Marion. She really seemed like the only completely sane person in the entire show. She seems to always be there for everyone, except if they get on her nerves. Then she'll put a pin in your costume. When Harriet starts acting like Marion, Marion turns into her Dottie. I really liked how this play was about women's relationships. I think there are some very sweet relationships in this show like Dottie and Marion and Harriet and Marion. But they are not just sweet; the relationships are also hard for them because when something goes wrong for one of them the other one feels like they need to help. Both of the relationships have changed by the end and it is really hard to see them change. I think it was good because it was heartbreaking and that made you feel closer to some characters and farther apart from others. I have to be vague because I don't want to give away the ending.

People who would like this show are people who like meaningful relationships between women, dancing cereal boxes, and Christmas decorations. I think that people should go this show. It is so much to fun to watch. There are so many great surprises in the show and I really liked it.

Photos: Michael Courier

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