Off Broadway (and sometimes Broadway) Reviews and Information.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Scrambled Eggs

I am not the target audience for Scrambled Eggs, now playing at The Beckett Theater.  I could tell that from the raucous laughter than erupted around me over and over during the 90 minutes show.  Scrambled Eggs plays to an appreciative audience that filled the Beckett Theater and reveled in the show.
Jim Frangione and Amy Von Nostrand in Scrambled Eggs
The story, by Robin Amos Kahn and Gary Richards, is a trip with Karen through the funhouse which pre-menopause has made of her life.  Amy Van Nostrand gives voice to Karen, taking us along with her on the hideous and hilarious emotional rollercoaster.   Ms. Nostrand plays the role extremely well; delivering the piece as a shared survivor experience that resonated with the crowd.  She made the entire feminine journey seem like one of those war-time buddy moves, complete with both friendly and enemy fire.
Annie O’Sullivan proved the funniest foil as Karen’s mother, accidently provide lots and lots of friendly fire.  She delivered some great moments as the member of the older generation who saw all of womanhood as a plight to be tolerated.  Jim Frangione as Karen’s husband also provided comic relief as the loving but befuddled husband.
Amy Van Nostrand as Karen with Jim Frangione & Anne O'Sullivan as her parents
The other players, Candice Brecker, Michael Dean Morgan and Mary Catherine Wright along with Mr. Frangione and Ms. O’Sullivan played a variety of characters that Karen interacted with.  All did yeomen work within the parameters of the play.
The play's dynamics proved more challenging to audience members that couldn’t directly relate to the shared experience.  It is set up as a monologue / comedy set by Karen, where the other characters exist to provide a punch line or set up a joke.  Karen’s indiscriminate but contained anger and angst is viewed as funny, when it sometimes borders on the maniacal.  Her frustration shows through, but is rather one note stretched to 90 minutes.
Karen has little patience for people, situations or entire states when they get on her bad side.  In reasonable doses this is funny, at a constant stream it begins to grate.  One wonders if Karen has a good side (she does, late in the play we see a softer Karen).
Matthew Penn directs Scrambled Eggs less as a story and more as a change for Karen to vent.  The venting is funny for a while, but like a Spielbergian war-time buddy movie, I wanted it to be over long before it was.
Scrambled Eggs
Playwright: Robin Amos Kahn & Gary Richards
Director: Matthew Penn
Cast: Amy Van Nostrand, Candace Brecker, Jim Frangione, Micheal Dean Morgan, Anne O’Sullivan, Mary Catherine Wright

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