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Pearl Rhein

Eco Village

January 29, 2019

Similar to a flatly serious youth exploitation flick circa 1970, playwright Phoebe Nir’s utopia-in-the-wilderness yarn "Eco Village," is likeably inept. There’s a hallucinogenic drug dinner party sequence that’s out of late Otto Preminger when he was painfully trying to be with-it that has bursting strobe lights and a female dominatrix in full regalia. The whole thing has a trippy "Gilligan’s Island" vibe combined with turgid writing and overacting. The elaborate rustic set is spectacular which helps. [more]

The Lucky Ones

April 13, 2018

After the first song, “We are in the house where I grew up,” says Abigail, with the bacon and eggs and toast and tea in the morning, on the first day of a new school year. Adding to the confusion are Abigail’s many family members, including her sisters--one of whom is named Emily (Ashley Pérez Flanagan), not to be confused with her new friend Emma (Adina Verson)--her parents, her aunt (the stalwart Maryann Plunkett) and her cousins. Another part of the problem is that there are simply too many people to be contained on the small stage of the Connelly Theater, which may be why the majority of them begin the show in the balcony in the rear of the auditorium. (The Lucky Ones has been directed with an overcrowded zeal by Anne Kauffman.) [more]