By Glory Kadigan; Directed by Eric Mercado
Produced by G$ Productions
Off Off Broadway, New Play
Runs through 7.12.15
Paradise Factory Upstairs Theatre, 64 East 4th Street
by Linda Buchwald on 6.20.15
Julia Bray, Misti Tindiglia, and Alexandra Milne in When the Party's Over. Photo by Sarah Shutt.
BOTTOM LINE: The influence of Tennessee Williams is felt in When the Party's Over, but with more focus on the environment and musical theater references.
The works of Tennessee Williams are referred to often in When the Party's Over, and his influence on playwright Glory Kadigan is evident, from the southern characters to the flashbacks to the relationships between mothers and daughters. The play takes place on an Alaskan cruise on which Anna (Alexandra Milne), a Broadway actress, is vacationing with her mother (Misti Tindiglia).
It starts off comically, with Anna trying too hard as she flirts with a man named Dean (Andrew Rothkin), who is clearly not interested. He brought his friend Mark (Tyler Gardella) along and wants to turn their friendship into something more. But though she starts off as ridiculous, Milne brings out Anna's depth as the play progresses and she learns about her family history from her mother (Julia Bray portrays her grandmother in flashbacks).
Meanwhile, the world is falling apart due to global warming, illustrated by the trash heap set. And late in the play, something is revealed about Anna's past that exposes a problem women face in the entertainment industry. All the topics are worthy of exploring in theater, but it's a lot to fit into 80 minutes. It helps that director Eric Mercado does a good job navigating the cast through the tonal shifts.
Like all productions in the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity, When the Party's Over supports a worthy charity. So if you like saving the world with your theater, part of the proceeds here benefit the World Wildlife Foundation.
(When The Party's Over plays at Paradise Factory Upstairs Theater, 64 East 4th Street, through July 12, 2015. Remaining performances are June 22nd at 8:45; June 28th at 3:45; July 3rd at 6; July 11th at 7; and July 12th at 11AM. Tickets are $18 and are available at web.ovationtix.com or by calling 866.811.4111.)