The play takes place in the comfortable Iowa home of Sharon (Greta Oglesby), a divorced mom of an adult son. Her new roommate Robyn (Alison Edwards) arrives, a lesbian vegan from Brooklyn with a mysterious background. Much of the humor comes from the culture clash as the two women mesh their lives (almond milk? book club?!). Sharon is curious, Robyn is withholding, but eventually, and with the help of some snooping, Robyn opens up about her criminal past that she's trying to move on from. But Sharon is fascinated, and wants to learn how it's done, so Robyn finds herself slipping back into her old ways with a new partner. It's an allegory for women of a certain age finally going after what they want regardless of what society (or their children) expect of them, finding something fun and new and exciting out of life. Even if in this story it means breaking a few laws.
|the dynamic duo: Greta Oglesby and Alison Edwards
(photo by Dan Norman)
The Mixed Blood stage has been turned into an Iowa farmhouse by BrownKnows Design, with a homey kitchen (with real coffee in the pot) and dining area. The set is open to black curtains behind it, with the doors and windows of the house simply framed out, creating an interesting illusion of walls. The characters are dressed in basic black, with a change of shirt or jacket (often onstage during scene transitions) to mark the passage of days (costume design by Kathy Kohl).
Jen Silverman has written a very funny and smart script about mature and complicated women, and in the hands of this mostly female creative team and flawless cast, it absolutely sparkles and snaps. The characters and scenes are so crisply drawn, it feels real even while veering into crime fantasy. Go see this gem of a play at Mixed Blood Theatre through June 19!