One guy is a German Nazi who escaped the war and went to Brazil.
One lady is a Mexican postal worker that looks like Sherlock Holmes.
One lady is a whore.
In the play No Exit, these characters are forced to deal with the weirdo lesbian postal worker as she gropes at the whore and uses all the toothpaste. Then at the end, they realize that hell is actually just being around other people in a little room.
If this play was written nowadays, this would be happening on the #36 Broadway bus, right here in Chicago. Man, one time I was on that bus, and this guy was throwing up in the back and this old lady was complaining about it next to me, and then we got stuck in the Gay Pride Parade. So I know what they are going through.
Sean Graney has turned this once innocent and revealing sketch of human thoughts into another tour-de-vagina for the Hypocrites at the Athaneum Theatre. Jesus, Lord above, I have never been inside a worse theater in my life. Not only are the seats uncomfortable, but the clientele... yuck.
When the curtains opened, when I thought I couldn't take anymore of these grease balls kicking the back of my chair, I saw before me the most exhillarating set I've ever seen.
Now I know you all will think I am joking, but in all seriousness; the set is the inside of a vagina. I'm not joking. It is a cavernous pink waiting room with a sideways door (vagina opening) in the back, two globes (ovaries) downstage, and a giant clitoris statue in the middle of the room that they all rub through the show.
Graney has really outdone himself this time. I had thought I had seen everything.
Now, in addition to the set, it wouldn't be a Graney play unless everyone talked at the same time with music playing too, and he would not disappoint. This play had everything.
And readers, I know you know what a huge fan I am of Rob McLean, and I was so lucky to see him in this play as Gomez or some other name that he made up when he fled the Allies in Europe. God, is he incredible. This Rob McLean has really grown as an actor in the last few years, I mean really grown into himself. Now is that because he has been gray since he was 17? I'm not here to judge him, for he is glorious.
Also in the play was Samantha Gleisten which I'm not entirely sure isn't Kevin O'Donnell with a wig on, but either way, really nice specific choices, Kev.
Erin Barlow gives the finest performance of her nubile 21 year life as a blonde girl who thinks she is better than me. And whom could forget the amazing and adaptive John Taflan as the Duke of Cercey or something, because he is dressed like an old fashioned British fellow and nobody else dressed like that, but maybe that's HIS Hell, because he just wanted to fit in, but somebody told him it was a costume party and now he's gonna go cry like a fat girl in the bathroom for an hour.
All in all, people talk a lot in Hell, about shit that doesn't always necessarily make so much sense. But you can always look into an ovary and see your family that you left behind.
-Anderson Lawfer, Eric Roach