The play is called That Pretty Pretty, or The Rape Play. Let me tell you right out front: I really liked it. I wasn't sure if I would-- the copy on the website is so generic that I was afraid the play would be the sort of mindlessness that passes for feminism sometimes. In fact, quite the opposite. I fully endorse the message of this play. I also had heard that Danielle "screams her way" through her performance-- true! Though not in a bad way, either. I mentioned the message of the play, & far be it for me to suggest it wasn't complicated & didn't have more than one thing going on? It did. The spine of the play, though, is the lambasting of the trope of the "martyred female" as a "strong female." Oh, please do tear that crap apart. The play starts with some Thelma & Louise mock-up, with what seems to be meta-textual intrusions. It starts degenerating, with Jane Fonda dancing in & gender swaps in only slightly altered scenes, all that. Meanwhile? The play is funny. I mean, laughing out loud, ell oh elling, funny. You aren't being bludgeoned over the head with anything-- no, the play brings you in on the joke. Oh I should mention-- going on a date with your wife to watch your ex-girlfriend snort coke off a stripper's ass? Great fun. Apparently, a lot of playwrights get called out, but I am not that versed in theater & only caught the Splaulding Gray joke. The movie comes home at the end-- the meta-moments earlier are revealed not as the author's but coming from another level of the narrative.
The play is probably about twenty minutes too long? I do like the tension at the dinner table-- a long scene of nothing but chewing & funny faces-- so it isn't the pacing of the individual scenes I'm talking about. & even the scenes that I might cut-- the end "interview" maybe? Are funny enough that I see why they are in there. I just think with a hard editing decision, it would have been tighter, better. I'm also not sure about the name-- maybe "The Rape Play" might be a more fitting title, but is is a better title? Would it sell tickets, would it explain the show? Not so much. So I'm going to call that even. The stage is used really well, as the play goes on; the transformations from scene to scene are what you'd expect, but when the big cinematic reveal comes off, it seems really alien, almost like forced perspective. I dug it. Plus, having an actual feminist message makes it really appealing-- & spoofing the crap that often passes for "feminist" gets extra points. The actors are good-- Danielle was good, which I sort of figured, & I didn't realize it at the time, but one of the leading men is her boyfriend, who was also very solid. Over-all, the acting is really-- I guess physical? You don't have any fake crying or cheap emotional shots, but rather you have these sorts of embodied caricatures cutting up the floor. Talking about how fucking "dignified" these martyr ladies are, & just getting it's teeth all bloody on this dumb attitude. Hooray! Then afterwards Jenny & Danielle teamed up on me to make fun of how much I like creating uncomfortable situations-- a new record time?