Men, Women, Doppler Radar
One of the best parts of being an admittedly jaded, sober, black box theatre junkie is that on the very rare occasion, I still stumble across an evening that reminds me exactly how I became addicted in the first place. I had such an evening Saturday at the Promenade Playhouse in Santa Monica where "Men, Women, Doppler Radar" is currently running Friday and Saturday nights throughout June.
MWDR is, on the surface, a conversation that takes place between a college aged daughter and her mother. The daughter has returned home from school and is taking refuge in her room after a one night stand has ended poorly. I arrived expecting and hour long mother/daughter conversation akin to an extended
"Summers Eve" commercial but instead found a sharply written, at times hysterical comedy that explores the male psyche through the eyes of the mother (Rachel Bailit). I'm not sure exactly how, but MWDR traverses a myriad of subjects such as male/female relations, homosexuality, abortion, religion, and others that will have you laughing as well as thinking at the same time. No easy feat.
Much of the credit must go to the two actress's who handle this material with a deft touch that keeps the play moving right from the opening moments. Rachel Bailit as the mother is deliciously direct as she educates her daughter with an honesty and wit that, unfortunately in my eyes, few daughters will ever experience. Ciarra Siller plays the daughter and is the perfect foil for Bailit as she moves between willing student and defiant daughter with a natural ease. Their chemistry is a joy to watch.
Lastly, despite the fact that is a two woman show that at times humorously treats men as if they are penis pinata's, the males in the audience were laughing as hard, if not harder, than the women. This may be due the fact
that this inside view of the mother/daughter relationship was actually written by a man. William Threadgold's script and direction, together with Ms Bailit and Ms Siller's performances made for a really funny, smart, thoughtful
night of theatre. I'm hooked again.
Joan Marie Frechette
Tickets are available at www.plays411.com
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