Oreo Carrot Danger: A Play of Rituals
Oreo Carrot Danger – A Play of Rituals. Dramedy. Written by Nayia Kuvetakis. Directed by Rose Oser. Faultline Theatre. PianoFight, 144 Taylor Street, San
Ben’s got a big problem that’s interfering with his budding romance with Kate. It’s the debilitating and often paralyzing effects of obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors that make up this wildly entertaining, yet serious examination of OCD, a disorder playwright Nayia Kuvetakis is intimately familiar.
Ben’s OCD presents itself with obsessing over the worst case scenarios that his actions or inactions may cause. If he doesn’t compulsively check the lights or the stove, the building may burn down. While on his innocent first date with Kate, his thoughts quickly spin into a sexual romp, marriage and murder, when he accidentally smothers her with his pillow. In another fantasy, Kate gives birth to a son who, due to lack of support from his distracted father, turns into a homicidal killer bound for capture and execution.
These tableaus are wonderfully staged with the use of three maniacal manifestations of Ben’s disorder played with great comic flair by Koledon Lambright as O, Michelle Navarette as C and Adam Odess-Rubin as D. They goad Ben on, fueling his behavior and destroying his relationship with the kind and extremely patient Kate. Adam Niemann is amazing as Ben, a bundle of live wires, overwhelmed by the abundance of choices and fearful his responsibility in circumstances out of his control. Giorgia Luisa is equally amazing, passively attempting to guide Ben towards seeking help and willing to go into relationship given his constraints. She gives a tempered, restrained performance that grows in strength as the play moves towards its finale.
Kate plans for a big ukulele recital, which Ben misses, exhausted by his compulsive stove checking. It’s the straw that breaks the sympathetic camel’s back. Kate, tired of feeling like the second banana to Ben’s disorder, lays down the law- treatment or no Kate. When there’s an actual fire in the building that Ben did not cause, there might be a glimmer of hope. Shit happens, and Ben can’t control it.
The script is crisp and obviously a work written with the passion of the afflicted. Director Rose Oser keeps the action moving briskly, seamlessly moving the action between reality and the exaggerated fantasies inside Ben’s mind. The primary colored set accentuates the compartmentalization that structures Ben’s mind. A 70’s soundtrack by Ryan Short adds to the fun and softens the horror of Ben’s condition. This is the second consecutive hit for Cole Ferraiuolo and his Faultline Theater, which seems to find compelling, well-executed productions.
Performances run June 17th thru July 9, 2016. faultlinetheater.com 415. 816.3691