I recently attended the Senior Matinee performance of “Girls” at Yale Repertory Theatre and noticed the warning sign indicating that gunshots would be fired during this performance. I also saw the sets of earplugs that were being distributed to the few persons who knew where to request them. All of this prepared us for a very noisy party. However, little did we know that the on-stage revelry would be strictly geared towards the university crowd, who laughed and cheered the participants on from the rear of the University Theatre, while most the seniors, who sat up front, remained silent and bewildered.
This World Premiere by playwright, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins is a non-stop, one act, drunken frenzy directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz and choreographed by Raja Feather Kelly. While it is billed as a modern, multi-layered, philosophical piece based on “The Bacchai” by Euripides, if you are not up to ancient mythology, or the latest in youthful terminology, the clever, hilarious and often silly, sexual content in this stand-up comedy is more suitable for a singles party – and the outrageous, creative costumes by Montana Levi Blanco are just in time for Halloween.
The acting is great despite the play’s flaws, and the park setting by Adam Rigg is outstanding. If only the trees and birds could talk, we wouldn’t need to follow the confusing plot.
The action is introduced by “Deon,” (Nicholas L. Ashe), who engages the audience with finesse. It appears that his mother’s ashes were scattered around this haunted park, and because of her untimely death he’s luring the town’s women to his wild party, and is out for some kind of revenge. One by one the partying participants express their frustrations about their daily activities and our political system until Deon has had enough of this partying frenzy and finally has his revenge.
It’s hard to keep track of the large cast of many characters however, one of the clever monologues by one of the unidentified “Girls,” regards her frustrations over sitting at her desk all day in an uncomfortable chair. If you’ve every ordered something over the Internet, on a site which she describes as “Shamazon,” and you were not enchanted with the product as expected, you will understand the laughter it elicits, why this girl is still suffering with back pain and why the elders left the theatre with headaches.