Monday, November 14, 2011

Men, Beware of Mysterious Women Who Arrive at Your Door in the Rain

Angela Bassett as Camae and Nina Arianda as Wanda

In David Ives’ Venus in Fur, Thomas stands alone in a casting room after an uneventful day of auditioning actresses for his play. As he is about to wrap up his day, Vanda, an actress not on his audition list, arrives insisting on an audition. Similarly, in Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop, MLK is alone in his motel room, when Camae, a maid arrives at his door. 

In these two-actor plays portrayed on boxy sets currently mounted on Broadway stages, both women are attractive, magnetic, and mysterious; they know things about the men that they probably should not. How does Camae know that MLK’s childhood name is Michael, not Martin? How does Vanda know so many intimate facts about Thomas’ relationship with his finance? 

Both plays provide 90 solid minutes of engaging theater. But you can't help but want to warn the men - beware of a beautiful woman who appears at your door in the thundering rain. You may just fall under her spell.

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