WINDOWS ON THE WORLD
nytheatre.com review by Josephine Cashman
Windows on the World, written by Peter Kelly and directed by
Diego Daniel Pardo, takes a difficult subject and makes it funny,
satirical, and heartfelt. This dark comedy takes a look at socialite
Inez Perce-Shallow-DelaPentaloon, her children Martha and Stewart, her
ex-husbands, her superficial sycophants, and a cater-waiter, and how
they live their lives on September 10, 11, and the aftermath. Inez is
the social-climbing, often married and hilariously vain woman who is the
centerpiece of the show: "I am a woman, and there are limits. And it
pisses me off." She is a woman and the audience can certainly hear her
August 15, 2003
Windows artfully brings to life the hilariously shallow needs and wants of Inez and company, while one taxi driver plots his jihad, another Muslim taxi driver changes his mind, and the cater-waiter wonders why the hell he moved from New Mexico to live in New York. After September 11, they must all attempt to rebuild their lives as the city is flattened around them.
The cast does an excellent job with the material. Carol Halstead and Elizabeth Flax give terrific performances as Inez and her housekeeper, Dizzy, and Getchie Argetsinger is remarkable as Penny Henny, the Greek chorus of the play. David Pixley also does a commendable job in four very different but funny roles. There is a splendid score by Thom Garvey, which creates and sustains the mood from scene to scene.
The staging is somewhat experimental and quite cartoonish, but it is effective and adds to the satire. At times, it is hard to hear the actors over the sound and the action moves so fast that it is sometimes difficult to follow. The first act is stronger than the second, but the story is marvelously and sharply written. Filled with alliterations and verse, the text is lyrical and resonates. This show is not a dirge on September 11, it is a testament to the resiliency of humankind, and how we must all "fumble onward together—and you can’t fight that."
FringeNYC 2003 is off to a flying start.