A Clever Production of Amelia Roper’s “She Rode Horses Like the Stock Exchange”
A Clever Production of “She Rode Horses Like the Stock Exchanged”
Crowded Fire Theatre Company one of our many excellent theatrical companies here in the Bay Area was founded in 1997 by a group of young artists interested in experimental contemporary theatre is currently presenting a world premiere of Australian playwright Amelia Roper. She is currently writing for Yale Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville “remix 38” for the 2014 Humana Festival. The current production at the Thick House in San Francisco is called interesting enough “She Rode Horses Like the Stock Exchange”.
I could also call it “Sunday in the Park with Max” a word play on the Sondheim’s musical. However this 70 minute comedy farce has no music but a lot of very clever dialogue with a great cast of four very talented actors and actresses. The comedy is about a ludicrously humorous, poignant and alarming look at upper crust America.
The 70 minute play opens on a suburban Connecticut park and we see two nearby residents Amy (Zehra Berkman) and Henry (George Sillner) coming to the park to enjoy a sunny Sunday afternoon. Amy is a dynamic investment banker and her husband Henry a opaque male nurse who loves to eat everything in sight. Talk about an odd couple, this takes the cake.
Soon entering the park is another couple Max (Kevin Clarke) wearing a three piece suit who is carrying a floor lamp and Sara (Marliee Talkington) in an evening dress carrying bags of food. Now you wonder what that is about. Well we soon find out when Max offers up a deplorable confession to Henry when the two women wander off to sail a paper boat on a pond
Australian playwright Amelia Roper has developed this story with fetching clues and small disclosures underneath deviously drifting, prickly conversations between the couples. Director M. Graham Smith direction is sharp as he emphasizes the playwright’s tone of rib-tickling anxiety of one of the couples very successfully.
Zehra Berkman is outstanding as the cunning and callous Amy especially in her verbal attacks on Kevin Clarke as Max. Kevin Clarke gives a charismatic performance as a marginal neurotic who can’t believe his fate. Marilee Talkington as immature, ego centric Sara gives a hilarious performance from her born of the manor body language. She is a joy to watch. Rounding out this cast is George Sellner who plays Amy’s impervious husband gives a first rate performance.
“She Rode Horses Like the Stock Exchange” plays through April 12 at Thick House, 1695 18th Street, San Francisco. For tickets call 415-746-9238 or on line at www.crowdedfire.org Coming up next is “Brahman/I: a One-Hijra Stand Up Comedy Show by Aditi Brennan Kapil opening on June 5 and running through June 28.