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Theater review: 'To the New Girl ...' at T.U. Studios

August 18, 2011 |  2:50 pm

To the New Girl from the Former Mrs. _____; Sound Advice for My Husband's New Wife or Mistress.”
“To the New Girl,” presented by SkyPilot Theatre Company at T.U. Studios, is a bracing blitz of pure estrogen that might make you rush out and organize a charity bake sale.

The full title of Samantha Macher's new play is “To the New Girl From the Former Mrs. _____; Sound Advice for My Husband's New Wife or Mistress.”  Directed by Jeanette Farr, this entertaining evening consists of 10 monologues from various women scorned who directly address their exes’ new wives and lovers.

Monologue plays are standard theatrical fare in which the playwright can trowel on an overriding theme without worrying overmuch about dramatic cohesion.  Although she breaks little new ground in this familiar format, Macher handles the exercise with considerable panache.

Things start off on a kinky note as a young woman (Mackenzie English) addresses the “other woman,” who is now accommodating her ex-boyfriend’s singular fetish. The evening comes full circle with the final monologue, a wrenching piece in which an elderly woman (Rosina Pinchot, in a moving turn) turns over the care of her Alzheimer’s sufferer husband to his new “girlfriend” at the nursing facility.

From the profane to the poignant, the opening and closing scenes effectively frame the other monologues, which show Macher’s impressive range.  The performances are all solid, but standouts include Niki Nowak as a sardonic Southern belle married to a gay television evangelist and Shelby Janes as an abused pregnant woman who has grown a steel backbone.

The staging is emotionally astute, but Farr should have trusted her material more. The monologues are too frequently interrupted when extraneous performers troop onstage to perform business that seems mostly unnecessary, an unfortunate glitch that distracts from the otherwise engaging performances.

-- F. Kathleen Foley

“To the New Girl…” T.U. Studios, 10943 Camarillo St., North Hollywood.  8 p.m. Saturdays, 7 p.m. Sundays.  Ends Sept. 18.  $20.  (800) 838-3006.  Running time:  1 hour, 20 minutes.

Photo: From left, Niki Nowak, Rosina Pinchot, Tifanie McQueen and Mary Burkin in "To the New Girl ...". Credit: Jeanette D. Farr.