nytheatre.com review by Roger Nasser
August 21, 2011
Poteet Girls is a hilarious and quirky play. It is written by the extremely talented Leslie Marie Collins. The play is about a group of oddball 8th graders: Shannon Boner, who is sort of a social outcast; Holly Newton, a popular Jesus pusher; Candace Cho, a quirky girl; and Charles O’Riley, a “confused” theatrical boy. We get to see these characters interact, present science projects (one of my favorite parts of the show) and compete to be Miss Junior Poteet—where we are treated to two wonderful performances by Holly and Shannon. The cast of characters is rounded out by Granny (Shannon’s grandmother, who basically raised her).
All of the parts are also performed by Collins. Poteet Girls is not your usual one-person show, where the performer is talking directly to the audience about a specific topic or time in their life; it is instead a very funny play performed by a very talented performer. Each character is so different and Collins plays each one amazingly. It was great to see each character’s quirkiness as the story unfolded. While each character gets a place to shine, the main characters of the play are Shannon and Holly. There is a rivalry there that is really fun to watch.
Poteet Girls is directed by Erick Devine. Devine sports a very impressive resume and did a great job with Poteet Girls. The staging of the play and the pacing of it really moved things along. There aren’t many set pieces— basically a chair and not very many props—but the stage seemed very full to me. Something in the way the play was acted really brought the settings to life. It also has a great country music soundtrack. One of my favorite props in the show was the science project—it easily transformed into each of the 8th grader's reports.
Poteet Girls has a very funny and witty script. There are so many great moments in the show that still stick with me. The most amazing thing about it though is Leslie Marie Collins. Her performance is inspired and inspiring. She moves from character to character so effortlessly that not only was it fun to watch the play but also to see her practicing her craft. Her Shannon pulls at your heart strings. Her Granny is both hysterical and touching. You want to hate Holly as much as you want to love her. Collins gives so much life to each of her characters that it almost seemed like there were five different actors playing the parts. That is a really rare skill to have.
Poteet Girls is a joy to watch. It will make you laugh at times and also bring you back to a time when the most important thing was to be liked and accepted. From Holly’s Bible Brunches to the last note of Shannon’s song you will be delighted and amazed. Delighted by the sweetness and humor of the play and amazed by its star. Leslie Marie Collins can do no wrong!