Thomas Dean as "Dopey"
Photo credit David Kamminga
This is a difficult play to get into, as it has overlappping dialog, simultaneous scenes and mostly unlikable characters. It takes place in a seedy bar populated by drug addicts and dealers, prostitutes (male and female), lesbians, transvestites, and thieves.
To complicate things, there are 30 in the cast, all of whom are listed by name and actor in the program, but only a handful are ever called by name in the script. Trying to figure out who is who is pretty much impossible.
That said, it is an oddly entertaining play, the central characters of which are Darlene (Jennifer Berry), a good hearted prostitute freshly arrived from Chicago, and Joe (Vernon Lewis), a drug dealer with whom she becomes infatuated. Berry delivers what may be the longest monologue I have heard when talking with Ann (Aviv Hannan), a world weary prostitute, about her past in Chicago. It’s a tour de force but I was perhaps even more impressed with Hannan, whose expression of someone trapped listening to this monologue when she wants to be anywhere else, was perfect.
There is an electricity to this play that makes it oddly compelling.