Stephen A. Halsey Junior High School, Grade 8
I recently saw Catherine Trieschmann's new play Crooked at the Julia Miles Theatre, put on by the Women's Project. It's a small, typical Off-Broadway theatre. When you walk in, the stage is right in front of you. For this play, the stage is set with a couch and bleachers: The front of the stage looks like a living room, and the back of the stage looks like bleachers at a high school football game.
Before I attended the show, I read some reviews about the play, specifically one in The New York Times. The Times gave the play a good review, so I was expecting to see a good play. Unfortunately, I didn't think it was as good as the Times' critic did. I thought the acting was excellent, but found the storyline confusing and hard to grasp. The beginning of the play starts with a typical mother/daughter fight, but then it gets very deep and very hard to understand.
The main character of the play is Laney, a 14-year-old girl. Her father was recently admitted to a mental institution; her mother divorced him and moved herself and her daughter from Wisconsin to the South. So now Laney has to start in a new school. A lot is going on in Laney's life, and she and her mother fight constantly. She feels lost and doesn't really know who she is.
Then she meets Maribel, a very religious 16-year-old girl. They are both lost souls and become fast friends. Maribel keeps trying to convert Laney to her church. Laney, in defiance of her mother's atheism, eventually is converted by Maribel, and has an epiphany (or so she thinks). She convinces herself that she is gay after kissing her Maribel. She tells her mother and her mother is shocked.
As you can see, for a 90-minute show there sure is a lot of drama. The actress who plays Laney's mother, Betsy Aidem, is astonishing! She's hilarious, and a great actress. She's by far the best in the play. If it weren't for her comedy and warmth, the play would not have had the same feeling to it. She made it seem real.
The set doesn't change from scene to scene at all; instead, to cover scene changes, they would play music and blacken the stage, then go right to the next scene. As I said before, the theatre is small, so every seat is great. Overall, I'd say that Crooked is OK. The acting is great, but the plot is weak and confusing. And I guess there's a little too much religion being preached in it for my taste. But if you are into religion this might be the perfect show to see.
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