Our view into this world is through the title character, Natasha, who begins working as an intern for Felicity in her trendy Williamsburg shop that sells and rents vintage clothing. When Natasha accidentally spills coffee on a 1920s sea otter fur coat, she takes it to the neighborhood dry cleaner "Mordy and Sons" for emergency repair. They do such an amazing job with the coat that Felicity notices it, and remarks that it's been revived, like it's brand new. But Natasha won't admit her mistake and claims that she just took it home and wore it. Felicity asks her to do the same thing with many other items in the shop, which leads to the unbelievable premise that both are pretending something in Natasha's sweat is reviving the clothes, while she secretly brings them to Mordy. It seems silly that Natasha wouldn't just admit she was taking the clothes to a dry cleaner, but it sets up the culture clash when Natasha becomes friends with Mordy's son Yossi, who begins to dream about what it would be like to wear regular clothes, go to a bar, watch TV, chew gum, and do other things that his strict traditions and parents don't allow. Yossi and Natasha are both changed by their friendship, and come to a deeper understanding of themselves, their culture, and their life choices.
|when Yossi met Natasha (Ahi Avaroni and Miriam Schwartz,
photo by Sarah Whiting)
|Felicity (Kim Kivens), Natasha (Miriam Schwartz), and
those clothes! (photo by Sarah Whiting)
It's always great to see new work premiering right here in #TCTheater. And while I had a few quibbles with this one, there is a lot to enjoy and appreciate about Natasha and the Coat (continuing at the Highland Park Center Theatre through May 13).