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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 27, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 21
Dive into Reservoir Dolls' bloody fun
Arts & Entertainment
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Dive into Reservoir Dolls' bloody fun

by Miryam Gordon - SGN A&E Writer

Reservoir Dolls
Theater Schmeater
Through June 18


So there's this bloody, profane movie from Quentin Tarantino called Reservoir Dogs. What if the sexes were flipped and all the men were women? That's the basis for Reservoir Dolls, now open at Theater Schmeater, starring some of the most badass women in the Seattle acting community. And boy, do they wanna be bad!

This adaptation/parody by Erika Anne Soerensen includes all the (fake) blood and guts you could want, if you're into blood and guts. If you saw the movie and you think there's a point that Tarantino was making, then the same point is made here. If you thought the movie was just darkly funny and weird, well, that's just what this will be for you.

The story is about a band of thieves led by Jo Cabot (Karen Jo Fairbrook) and her daughter, Nice Gal Edie (Megan Ahiers). These women are smart cookies, so they hire six women who are not connected to each other, give them fake names, and arrange to pull a diamond heist. There's Ms. Orange (Lori Lee Haener), Ms. White (Christine White), Ms. Blue (Julia Griffin), Ms. Pink (playwright Soerensen), Ms. Brown (Julia Leonas), and Ms. Blonde (Lisa Viertel). If anyone gets caught by the cops, they won't be able to identify anyone by name - at least, that is the plan.

It's no surprise, however, that something goes wrong. When the alarm is tripped, recent prison-inmate Ms. Blonde goes crazy and starts shooting everyone in sight. As the team escapes the mayhem and finds their way back to the hideout, Ms. Pink starts to figure out that there's a mole who set the team up. But who?

The almost all-female cast gives it everything they've got. Viertel is the demonically calm but deranged Ms. Blonde, taking extreme delight in torture and death. Ahiers is so intensely frustrated that she is (perhaps unintentionally - in a good way) hysterical as the daughter who tries to keep the team together. Soerensen shows that she's a good actor as well as adapter, analyzing the clues and determining there's been an inside leak with a tough, tenacious mind. Fairbrook reasonably leads the team as an experienced criminal mastermind.

Haener and White are also solid in their roles. White deals with the strain of humanity toward a wounded and dying Ms. Orange with soul-searching anguish. Ben Burris, in a small but tortured (literally) role of a captured cop, made it hard to watch his agony, as his ear is torn off and he is slashed by Ms. Blonde.

The warehouse set design by Al Angel, period music sound design by Skyler Burger, and lighting by Steve Cooper all work well to bring director J.D. Lloyd's vision to life. Periodic radio interludes with a recorded DJ voiced by Annette Toutonghi in a silky little girl whisper were a perfect accompaniment to the mayhem.

The short (about 100 minutes with intermission) evening is done seriously, but there are some amusing moments due to the sex change. If you like to reach out and touch your movies, this is your play. Though you don't have to worry about blood on your clothing, you might want to leave your diamonds at home.

For more information, go to www.schmeater.org or call 206-324-5801.

Discuss your opinions at sgncritic@gmail.com.

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