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Good Friday

After a spirited discussion of “A Doll’s House,” five young college women are caught up in a campus shooting in this audacious and gripping topical drama.

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Raiane Cantisano, Dolores Avery, Erin Noll, Ure Egbuho and Caturah Brown in a scene from Kristiana Rae Colón’s “Good Friday” (Photo credit: Joan Marcus)

Darryl Reilly

Darryl Reilly, Critic

A scorching and ingeniously plotted exploration of feminism versus rape culture in the contemporary United States is achieved in Good Friday. Playwright Kristiana Rae Colón’s audacious, fierce and gripping topical drama is ultimately a provocative vigilante yarn strewn with off and onstage violence that’s dynamically presented.

We’re in a college classroom where five bright young women are having a spirited discussion about Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. The characters are finely delineated through Ms. Colón’s pungent dialogue that is slyly packed with academic lingo. Their interactions are laden with thoughtful arguments espousing differing points of view. “Words mean things!” One of them has to leave due to comical complications arising from her having her period. There’s a lot of delightful reveries charting the character’s personal lives and their Proud youthful femininity.

The play totally switches gears as gunshots are heard and in a harrowing fashion it is revealed that a campus shooting is underway. The terror intensifies as the shooter barges in. Surprising plot twists occur, wildly dramatizing Colón’s emerging incendiary theme as it reaches a sober conclusion.

Presented by The Flea Theater, Good Friday is superbly performed by its resident company of multiracial actors known as The Bats. They are Dolores Avery, Caturah Brown, Raiane Cantisano, Clea DeCrane, Ure Egbuho, Erin Noll and Pearl Shin. To go into detail regarding their particular roles would spoil the play’s startling revelations.

Caturah Brown, Erin Noll, Raiane Cantisano, and Dolores Avery in a scene from Kristiana Rae Colón’s “Good Friday” (Photo credit: Joan Marcus)

Levity and tension are attained through director Sherri Eden Barber’s fiery staging combined with snappy sequences of overlapping dialogue and humorous cross talk.  Violence/Intimacy choreographer Rocio Mendez’s breathtaking work recreates the dread and goriness of the situation.

Scenic designer Kate Noll’s minutely detailed classroom becomes a claustrophobic trap. Surrounding it are Jess Medenbach’s crashing projection design with its bold imagery that takes us to the outside world with a montage of informative tweets from those all over the campus. Lighting designer Paige Seber provides clinical eeriness. The ominous tone is magnified by sound designer Megan Deets Culley’s horrific gunshots and modulation of dramatic musical passages.  Terrific present day styles are vividly rendered  by Christelle Matou’s highly individualized costume design.

Philosophical cross sectional hostage dramas have long been a staple of dramatic literature with The Petrified Forest (1935) and The Desperate Hours (1955) being notable examples.  In Good Friday, Kristiana Rae Colón boldly contributes to the genre by espousing an imagined militant counterculture solution for the issue of male sexual aggression.

Good Friday (through March 18, 2019)

The Flea, 20 Thomas Street, in Manhattan

For tickets, call 212-226-0051 or visit http://www.theflea.org

Running time: 75 minutes with no intermission

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Darryl Reilly
About Darryl Reilly (666 Articles)
A native New Yorker, Darryl Reilly graduated from NYU with a BFA in Cinema Studies. For the Broadway League, (formerly The League of American Theatres and Producers) he developed, and for five years conducted their Broadway Open House Tours, which took visitors through The Theatre District and into several Broadway theaters. He contributed to Broadway Musicals Show by Show: Sixth Edition (Applause Books). Since 2013, he has reviewed theater, cabaret, and concerts for Theaterscene.net.

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