Wednesday, November 01, 2006

My Deah: 11/01/2006

My Deah is John Epperson’s Deep South adaptation of Euripides’ Medea. In the style of Ridiculous Theater, My Deah is complete with multiple drag performances, numerous puns and one-liners, the obligatory hunk, references to other works (from Tennessee Williams to Disney's Song of the South) and a starring diva role at the center of the play. In this case the diva is played by an actual woman – Nancy Opel. In fact, Opel plays two roles – both My Deah Hedgepeth and her maid, Lillie V. Her performance as Lillie is a brilliantly funny homage to Agnes Moorehead’s performance in the 1964 film Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte and almost upstages her performance in the title role. There is much that is very funny in My Deah, but there is also much humor that lands with a crashing thud, which is surprising as the play has been read and workshopped enough times to determine what wasn’t working. The pace of the evening isn’t quick enough, with enough rapid-fire laughs to overcome the duds and by the end of the ninety-minute running time, the evening does begin to feel long. Thankfully, the visually amusing deus ex machina is worth the wait.

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