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The Good Girl

Interesting and contemplative, this new sci-fi play will leave audiences thinking about the state of humanity well after they've left the theater.

Giacomo Baessato and Leah Gabriel in a scene from “The Good Girl” (Photo credit: Lloyd Mulvey)

Giacomo Baessato and Leah Gabriel in a scene from “The Good Girl” (Photo credit: Lloyd Mulvey)

Courtney Marie

Courtney Marie, Critic

Emilie Collyer’s new sci-fi play, The Good Girl, presents a provocative and complex dilemma as the talented Leah Gabriel, who plays the independent and assertive Anjali, is figuring out her responsibilities surrounding her government-issued job as a madam to a sex robot. When the handsome and intriguing repairman Ven (played by Giacomo Baessato) swings by, matters start to get a lot more complicated. Scenic designer Dan Daly uses minimalism to portray a tiny city apartment scene, complete with a compact kitchen and living room, to keep the focus on the storyline.

The chemistry between Gabriel and Baessato is fierce and electrifying as they get to know each other, and intensifies as Van begins to observe the human-like behavior of the robot and is determined to find out more. Anjali is hesitant to let him in on the secret, but reveals that the robot has developed an emotional bond to her, and sometimes responds to certain feelings such as loneliness and separation – often uttering the words, “don’t leave me” through the door. Van is fascinated at what he finds out and the two join forces to figure out how best to capitalize on the service of the sex robot and how she can accommodate a greater (and richer) clientele by playing into their fantasy of the obedient housewife.

In a world where our relationship with technology is ever growing, it becomes difficult, at times, to remember how to connect as a human being and consider other people’s feelings or needs. Under Adam Fitzgerald’s precise and thoughtful direction, The Good Girl challenges audiences to take a long, hard look at their moral compass and decide when power and profit become too much for our own welfare. It is powerful to see a piece of technology break down and then have humans figure out creative solutions using their minds and hearts — going back to basics.

Leah Mulvey in a scene from from “The Good Girl” (Photo credit: Lloyd Mulvey)

Leah Mulvey in a scene from from “The Good Girl” (Photo credit: Lloyd Mulvey)

This play demonstrates how dependant the human race has become on technology and advancement, and how it brings out our true character when broken down — forcing us to become reliant on our own strength and character. Bonding over the potential of the sex robot, this duo’s charm lies in their bantering and own stubborn opinions about what is right. The quick exchanges and insults are hysterical and remind audience members of that special someone who tends to get under their skin. The male/female dynamic brought out the different energies and harmonies when it came time to uncover what the best solution for the good of the robot is — with both sexes contributing their own viewpoints and beliefs. The end result is a nice compromise of the two and displays the power in solidarity and the uniqueness of the gender roles.

When it comes to plays that hit the right mix of material that is out of the box, interesting and contemplative, The Good Girl delivers and will leave audiences thinking about the state of humanity well after they’ve left the theater.

The Good Girl (through February 28, 2016)
Joyseekers Theatre
59E59 Theaters, 59 E. 59th Street between Madison and Park Avenues, in Manhattan
For tickets, call Ticket Central at 212-279-4200 or visit to http://www.59e59.org
Running time: 50 minutes without an intermission

Courtney Marie
About Courtney Marie (45 Articles)
Courtney Marie is a New Jersey native with a tremendous love for the Big Apple. She has a degree in journalism and currently works in media. In addition to devouring all the theater that New York City has to offer, she also takes to the stage with AfterWork Theater Project and is grateful for the chance to perform with friends.

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