Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Peerless. It was by Jiehae Park and it was directed by Hutch Pimentel. It was about twins named M (Aurora Adachi-Winter) and L (Caroline Chu) who are in high school. Even though they are twins, L has stayed back a year, so they can go to the same college without competing. Only one minority gets in to the college each year from their school. And they want it to be M, but it doesn't end up that way. Instead it is D (Jesse Massaro) who is part Native American. They need to get into that college so they make up a plan for M to take his place. It is based on Macbeth which is really awesome; I love modern Shakespeare stories. It was like a cross between Macbeth and Heathers, which are two of my favorite things. I thought this was a really fun and terrifying and suspenseful and amazing show. I have never seen anything like it, and I absolutely loved it.
There were a lot of awesome references to Macbeth that you see throughout the show. L and M are Lady Macbeth and Macbeth. L sets the whole plan in motion and persuades M, who keeps wanting to back out. D is Duncan because D has everything that L and M want. Later D haunts L and M, and L says "come back to bed" and I just had this moment of "Hey! Macbeth reference!" I think BF (W. Matt Daniels), who was M's boyfriend, was kind of like Banquo and Fleance because he was a friend and then M and L betray him. There was also someone representing the three witches, and that was Dirty Girl (Amanda Fink). She was basically like the goth girl that no one liked. She can tell the future, even though sometimes it is misleading. The rats, that are kind of like her pets and live in her pocket, they talk about a little in Macbeth: one of the witches says "And like a rat without a tail / I'll do, I'll do, and I'll do." They also had this moment when D's brother was knocking to indicate if he was ok and if he needed help. And then he knocks that he needs help and that reminded me of when Macbeth keeps hearing knocking after he has killed Duncan. Both M and Macbeth feel like "oh no, someone's coming for us!" and I think that M and Macbeth feel very similar in this moment: they feel like maybe they shouldn't have done what they've done.
I liked the way this play was stylized, especially how they used six lockers for the entire set (by William Boles and Arnel Sancianco). They didn't just use them for one thing. They used them for lockers, and doors, and beds. I also thought the sound (by Thomas Dixon) was really creepy and awesome. They used these rat noises that would make you shiver in your seat. They had these light panels (by Claire Chzran) that looked a lot like what you would see in a school, but then they would change to different colors. They used the school aesthetic for so many different things and transformed it, and I thought that was really interesting. The twins and Dirty Girl used stylized language, but the rest of the people were a little bit more natural sounding. When the twins spoke to each other they seemed like their minds were connected because they were always able to finish each others sentences. And sometimes one of the sisters doesn't finish her sentence and the other knows what they are trying to say but sometimes doesn't say it. I think that showed that the twins and Dirty Girl are different from the rest of the school. They all have slightly darker minds. It is stylized in a way like Shakespeare is stylized but it doesn't sound like Shakespeare.
People who would like this show are people who like Macbeth references, stylized language, and awkward slow dancing. I think that people should definitely definitely definitely go see this show. It is a really amazing, nerdy, creepy, and hilarious show. I really really loved it. I hear they added some performances, so there is a chance you can still see it!
Photos: Ian McLaren