The Adventures of Everywoman
nytheatre.com review by Akia Squitieri
July 25, 2005
The Adventures of Everywoman, the first installment of a proposed four-part series “Biblical Bitches,” written and directed by Jeff Bedillion, is a clever idea with grand potential. However this production seems to strive for sexual innuendo and random song material rather than deliver a fluid show.
The play opens with a chorus of three women—Omega, Gallant, and Dominus—in the process of creating “woh-man” as a partner for Adam. Thus, the birth of Eve and her introduction to her mate Adam, a silent caveman type character wearing only a thong. Soon they discover sex and the traditional jokes of the unsatisfied woman follow, prompting Eve to leave for greener pastures.
In her travels through a post-apocalyptic-looking Garden of Eden, she meets Satin, a leather clad dominatrix, and her gaggle of lingerie clad groupies, “The Condiments” Saccharine, Ephedra, and Viagra. Dildos, spankings, and general stereotypical female neurosis ensue. It is revealed that Satin is Adam’s first wife, and she wants revenge upon both Adam and Eve.
Now, as Satin convinces Eve to travel with her to the tree of knowledge, back at home, Adam is in a desperate fit to find his lost Eve. Of course the inevitable happens: after a dance number with the tree of knowledge, Eve eats the apple, tempts Adam to do the same, and Eve gets reprimanded and punished by God.
Throughout the production, songs seem to go on far too long, and in most of them the cast members struggle vocally against the recorded synthesized music, which is played far too loud for the venue. Another challenge is that most of the numbers are pop or funk, but several of the singers have definite musical theatre voices which don’t always match up to the style of the songs.
The vibrant ensemble has great dedication and energy. Each actor is exceptionally committed to his or her role, delivering each line with enthusiasm. Jennifer Susi, as Satin, has a remarkable spark and presence and handles the challenge of her material with ease. Though Maiken Wise often struggles vocally, she portrays a likable Eve with a curiosity that's fun to watch. Margaret Spirito has some stellar vocal moments throughout and Danielle Morello sparkles in each scene; together with Stefanie Eris these ladies of the chorus have the standout number in the show, “Legend of the Tree,” a rousing R&B funk song.
This production unfortunately lacks a solid flow of pacing, the musical numbers need to be shortened and the costumes refined. It is my hope that Bedillion and his collaborators can refine their original idea (which really does have potential) before moving on to part two.