In Pretty-n-Papi (written by Leah James Abel, Cody Schreger, and Olivia Lehrman) Ms. Pretty Smart is pretty ready for her pretty man to walk into her life, but things aren’t looking that bright for this girl in the love department so she decides to start online dating, why not! Haunted by a radio commercial of “Princess Charmony,” she surfs the web on her ginormous macbook and creates a profile, username: PrettySmart. Princess Charmony (played dare I say charmingly by Rebecca Houlihan) hooks up our poor Ms. Smart with loser after loser in search for the man of her dreams, someone she can grow old with and eat pickles dunked in Fluff. Maybe she needs to rethink her ideals? No worries, there are enough fish out in the sea; or I should say in the audience as her dates are forcibly and uncomfortably picked from theatregoers who are just looking to watch a show.
It seems the days of just connecting from your seat, making sure you turn off your cell-phone and keeping quiet are over. The “now” thing (or should I say “retro” thing) is to be part of the action. The fourth wall is smashed into a million bits to the extent that one of the actresses shoves carrots into an audience members mouth. Once the audience is interrogated by Ms. Pretty (played with spunk by Olivia Hallie Lehrman), she reenacts what her life would be like if she ended up with one of these bad connections.
All three actresses are very skilled at showcasing their comedic and physical talents but the show ends up being messy. The actresses do their best at not tripping over used props on the floor and at transitioning smoothly from one scene to the next, yet without much success. Sadly the underdeveloped material and staging of Pretty-n-Papi is not up to par with the superior cast.
Although Pretty-n-Papi was not my cup of tea, I’m sure Princess Charmony will keep trying to match them with their ideal audience.
Written by Leah James Abel, Cody Schreger, and Olivia Lehrman
Presented by Awkward at Best Brooklyn, NY
UNDER St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place) $14
Thu 2/24 @ 6pm, Sun 2/27 @ 7pm, Mon 2/28 @ 6pm, Fri 3/4 @ 7:30pm, & Sat 3/5 @ 2:30pm
FRIGID New York Festival 2011 runs February 23-March 6 at The Kraine Theater & The Red Room (85 East 4th Street between 2nd Ave and Bowery) and UNDER St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place between 1sr Ave and Ave A). Tickets ($10-$16) may be purchased online at www.FRIGIDnewyork.info or by calling Smarttix at 212-868-4444. All shows will run 60 minutes long or less.