According to Lincoln Center's new LCT3 project at its slogan, it takes "New Audiences for New Artists." It also takes new critics, hence the establishment of Theater Talk's New Theater Corps in 2005, a way for up-and-coming theater writers and eager new theatergoers to get exposure to the ever-growing theater scene in New York City. Writers for the New Theater Corps are given the opportunity to immerse themselves in the off-off and off-Broadway theater scene, learning and giving back high-quality reviews at the same time. Driven by a passion and love of the arts, the New Theater Corps aims to identify, support, and grow the arts community, one show and one person at a time.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Lipstick on a Pig

Lipstick on a Pig, currently receiving its world premiere courtesy of Small Pond Entertainment, concerns a family's struggle to reconnect and start anew despite their rocky past. Unfortunately this nearly 3 hour production, directed by David Epstein, is a misfire from start to end.

To start with, the script written by Linda Evans is seriously flawed. The plot lacks focus - bogged down as it is with far too many background stories that don't provide insight into the world of the play and simply serve to take up time. The structure too hampers the show. The first act ends just as the exposition is completed, which leaves the bulk of the action to the second half. The result is a jumbled and hurried turn of events absent of drama or tension. Evans work isn't without merit, however, she does have an ear for combining words in a lyric fashion. There is in fact a beautiful monologue that ends the show which is by far the most genuine and touching moment of the evening. But even as the words draw you in its difficult not to wish for the end - its a case of too little too late. Under these circumstances, its truly a wonder that the actors manage to imbue some humanity into their hollow roles.

The actors are all capable. Indeed there are some glimmers of depth, though they are few and far between. Without the benefit of a three dimensional character their performances quickly fall flat. The lack of subtlety or nuances could have been corrected by either better direction or better writing, unfortunately they received neither.

If there is one thing you get from seeing Lipstick on a Pig, its the value of good material. A little clarity and structure could certainly go a long way here. Perhaps future productions will have the resources to implement such alterations.
Lipstick on a Pig
Theater Row's Beckett Theater
410 West 42nd Street
now through June 3rd
Wednesday-Friday at 8PM,
Saturday at 2 and 8PM, Sunday at 2PM
Tickets $18

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