THE COMPETITIVE SPIRIT REIGNS SUPREME IN "PEERLESS"

By Bonnie Goldberg

Think Serena and Venus Williams, sisters who exist and thrive in the competitive realm of world class tennis. How do they maintain a close bond of affection when they are often facing off against each other for the same singular prize? Now meet another pair of sisters, Asian twins M and L, who are making a dramatic and intense team sport at their Midwestern high school, striving to both be the best. They have taken on the entire class, lining up resumes, academic and extracurricular activities as if they are applying to be head honcho at a Fortune 500 business.

Thanks to playwright Jiehae Park, we are invited to enter the psyches of these two siblings in the world premiere comedy "peerless" at Yale Repertory Theatre until Saturday, December 19. Their goal is early-decision at a prestigious Ivy League college and when that fails to happen according to plots and plans, they conjure up a decidedly more aggressive scheme to secure their much desired future.

Teresa Avia Lim as L and Tiffany Villarin as M are talented and single minded in their quest, but are they doomed like a Don Quixote to battle at impossible windmill dreams? I think not. These are two master strategists who will achieve their goals ruthlessly at any costs.

Along the way to the top, they encounter obstacles like boyfriends (Christopher Livingston), dirty and preppy girls (Caroline Neff) and the one who cannot be named (JD Taylor) who claimed the college spot that rightfully belonged to them. Will jealousy and the need for revenge color their world evilly black? This is a comedy that borders on a midnight hue, as directed with an evil glint by Margot Bordelon. Shawn Boyle's projections add to the mounting sense of drama.

For tickets ($20-98), call the Yale Repertory Theatre, 1120 Chapel Street, New Haven at 203-432-1234 or online at www.yalerep.org. Performances are Wednesday -- Friday at 8 p.m., Wednesday at 2 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. The development and production of this work were provided by Yale's Binger Center for New Theatre.

When twins L and M fail to get the "fat envelopes" that signal acceptance to the college of their choice for early decision, they plot to make it happen regardless of the costs. Come witness their uniquely devious machinations.

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