Monday, March 26, 2018
Review of New American Folk Theatre's Hot Pink, or Ready to Blow
One of the early scenes was also one of my favorite scenes. The three girls were getting up in the morning and talking to their families. They had very different family lives. Tatanya lived with her mother (Anthony Whitaker), who was drunk always and was still mad that she was denied the honor of being the virgin sacrifice when she was a teenager because she was pregnant with Tatanya. They are very different sorts of people. And they have very interesting conversations that may not be completely appropriate. It is not really a parenting situation because Tatanya is more reasonable that her own mother. I thought the timing and delivery in this scene were so perfect and hilarious. Brichelle didn't have parents that were at home. From the clues I got, I think they joined a cult. She was now living with Lenny (Tommy Bullington) her unmotivated, always-eating-cereal brother. He seemed to be like the classic 80s brother who is just there to give you a noogie from time to time. But they actually have kind of a sweet relationship, and he actually loves her and wants to protect her. It is the most sincere male-female relationship in the whole play. (Which isn't saying a lot, but there it is.) Cadence has a seemingly healthy relationship with her father, the Mayor (Josh Kemper), but as the show goes on, you see he is the patriarchal patriarchy man. His priorities are basically money and tradition over everything else. I think tradition can be a good thing, but not when every year you have to kill an 18 year old for it. These scenes let you get a glimpse into the lives of these three girls. I think it is really cool that this show that is basically a spoof gives you actual feelings about the character, even if it is just in very brief scenes.
In the world of New Pompeii women are considered pure if they are virgins, and "huge sluts" if they are not. There is no in-between for them. But you kind of have to be a "huge slut" to save your life. So the options are basically die or get laid once and be called a "huge slut." I feel like men's sexuality is a lot more normalized than women's in the world because having heterosexual sex is basically a rite of passage for men but makes women dishonorable. People don't seem to understand that it doesn't make any sense to shame a woman for doing the same thing as men get praise for. But the play shows you that there is also a lot of pressure on men to conform to these ideas. Chadwick (Kemper) is pretty much a overly sexual jock and obsessed with getting laid by any girl he lays eyes on. He tries to convince them in the dumbest ways possible. He basically harasses them until a teacher comes by to save the day. But the pressure is also on guys because society has told them they have to be overly sexual about everything to prove that they are a man. He is one of the villains of the story, but he also has social pressures to be the man that society thinks he should be.
People who would like this show are people who like committed performances, criticizing double standards, and sex-positive angels in disguise. I think people should go see this show. It is really funny and strangely thought-provoking, and I really had a lot of fun watching it.
Photos: Austin D. Oie
Posted by Ada & Mom at 1:14 PM