A review of AN Unhappy Woman by Martin Hernandez from LA Weekly's "Theater Picks of the Week," July 25-31, 1997.
(Clipping supplied by Richard Ruyle.)

An Unhappy Woman, LA Weekly Theater Picks of the Week July 25-31 1997


JULY 25-31,1997



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Playwright Michael T. Folie's hilarious political farce, fortified by Michael Cullen's sterling direction and cast, explores the arrogance of power and the search for happiness. Folie's acerbic critique of our government's centralized control amidst raging poverty and alienation (presumably from dismantled social programs) provokes us via gut-busting repartee rather than rhetorical bludgeoning. On the New York subway in the near future (replete with "security zones" and pistol-packing citizens), an acid-tongued "total bitch," Gayle (Robin Johnson), meets romantic Hank (Richard Ruyle), a functionary of the "New Democrat" president ("I'm an idealist, I don't have time for the truth.") Despite her acerbic demeanor, Hank finds Gayle endearing, causing her to reluctantly open her scarred heart to him ("I'll kill you and feed you to the pigs," she warns him, should he fuck up, to which he blithely responds: "That sounds fair.") But Hank's interest in Gayle's dimwitted, perpetually happy roommate, Pearl (Madison Charap), peeves her, and leads the trio into a White House plot to control the hearts and minds of America's disgruntled masses through a genetically engineered happiness potion. Julie Briggs' megalomaniac presidential aide ("I work for the federal government and I can do whatever I want"), Brendan Broms' moronic urban terrorist and Van Stewman Jr.'s sexually confused CIA agent all enhance Folie's surreal satire.

Moving Arts, 1822 Hyperion Ave., Silver Lake; Fri.-Sat.. 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Aug. 31. (213) 665-8961. (Martin Hernandez)

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