Play for Today: Commedia Dell Smartass

May 21, 2014

Commedia dell SmartassOn this date in 1674, John Sobieski was proclaimed King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, according to Wikipedia.

Now i don't know if she's related or not, but this strikes me as good reason for Sonya Sobieski to be our playwright of the day -- and we choose Commedia Dell Smartass, her hit show from 2005, as our Play for May 21st.

Here's what's Ross Peabody said about this play when it opened, in a presentation by New Georges, at the (old) Ohio Theatre:

Billed as an eccentric comedy featuring an overachieving Girl Scout who wants to get into a good college, a Fencer who reads Machiavelli, a Clown of ambiguous gender, and a guy named Henry, Commedia explores the typical archetypes and power plays of high school. And it does so in stellar fashion....It's a familiar enough story, both for those who love John Hughes and those who love Carlo Goldini. Dominant male A convinces sweet but inept male B to pursue beautiful female C, in this case through a masculinity-challenging but friendly bet. Upon having the first date, our normal fellow is in love with our beautiful young lady, and she with her unlikely paramour. Our alpha male, however, has planned this all along, and wants young lady C for himself. As he wreaks havoc on this budding relationship through manipulation and betrayal, the play unfolds in brutal and funny fashion, finally arriving at a happy but melancholic ending. And all the while the real outsider—call this character Pierrot or Ducky or just Clown—becomes the confidante, the friend, the advisor, the punching bag, and, ultimately, the one who survives, self intact
I love that Sonya has given audiences this smart, incisive, and whimsical mashup of teenflick and commedia dell'arte. Check it out on Indie Theater Now.





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