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Hot Pink, or Ready to Blow
a Comedy
by Johnny Drago

COMPANY : The Weird Sisters Theatre Project
VENUE : Woodruff Art Center [WEBSITE]
ID# 4769

SHOWING : August 20, 2015 - August 30, 2015



It’s 1985 in small town New Pompeii, USA and time for the annual virgin sacrifice! But it looks like just one virgin isn’t cutting it this year, and town officials start tossing more and more high-school girls into the hungry volcano. In the vein of a classic 1980s sex comedy romp, join teens Tatanya, Cadence, and Brichelle as they set out to lose their V-cards in a hurry; they’ll get laid or die trying!

Running 8/20-8/30 in the 3rd floor blackbox space at the Alliance Theatre.

Director Veronika Duerr
Cadence Casey Gardner
Ensemble Bobby Labartino
Ensemble Topher Payne
Ensemble Gina Rickicki
Brichelle Parris Sarter
Tatanya Bryn Striepe
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hot, Hot, HOT
by playgoer
Saturday, August 22, 2015
Johnny Drago’s "Hot Pink, or Ready to Blow" is a silly, spicy romp concerning three virginal high school girls in the town of New Pompeii, where each year a high school senior is sacrificed to the local volcano. Only this year the "virgin" sacrificed apparently wasn’t as pure as she let on, and the volcano is not satisfied. This is the mid-1980’s, and the proportion of true virgins in the senior class is not what it once was. It’s only time before the list narrows to these three girls...

The three girls are an angry rebel (Tatanya, played by Bryn Striepe), a bespectacled nerd (Brichelle, played by Parris Sarter), and the self-professed pretty one (Cadence, played by Casey Gardner). These are all pretty one-note characters, but they are played to the hilt by these actresses. All other characters in the plot are covered by three ensemble members (Bobby Labartino, Gina Rickicki, and Topher Payne). Ms. Rickicki is an absolute hoot and totally distinct in her many roles, which include a TV interviewer, a dentally challenged student, a gay boy, a drunken mother, and a tour guide. The two men in the ensemble also get a chance to show their range in a variety of characters, both male and female.

Veronika Duerr has directed the show with finesse and with broad brushstrokes at the same time. The pleasures of this production extend from the beginning, with its use of Sketch MacQuinor’s cheery animated projections, to the end, with Joel Coady’s dramatic lighting on a final tableau. In between, we have myriad costumes by Abby Parker, myriad wigs by Gina Rickicki, myriad sound effects by Joe Monaghan, and some very nice props by Rachel Hamilton. The set, designed by Lee Maples, consists of a projection screen stage right and a platform with a towering volcano stage left. All the design elements work together, making this a very pleasant experience for all the senses. (Taste, touch, and smell aren’t exactly experienced by the audience, but imagery in the script make them almost palpable.)

The show moves pretty smoothly from start to finish, with a lot of amazingly quick costume/wig changes. The only moment that struck me as forced and unnecessary was a segment just before the false ending when the three girls swapped personalities (pretty to angry, angry to smart, smart to pretty). The false ending, with the empowered girls taking control of their destiny, is satisfying on its own, but then Mr. Drago adds a twist that takes the storytelling to a later time period and gives the play an ending that just feels right.

The Weird Sisters Theatre Project is building quite a reputation for its intriguing, well-acted productions in a variety of venues. "Hot Pink, or Ready to Blow" is their first staging of an original work, and it’s a worthy addition to their roster. Go, see, laugh! [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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