Fringe Review: The House of Yes
Here’s a helpful hint: if you want to bring your fiancé home for Thanksgiving to meet the family, try to refrain from humping your twin sister on the dining room table. It just makes breakfast the next morning so awkward.
The fact that Jackie-O (Adele Papoosha), whose violent bipolar disorder makes her a poster child for better living through chemistry, came out of the womb clutching her brother Anthony’s (Max Herskovitz) penis, is only the first of several dark family secrets that boozy matriarch Mrs. Pascal (Marcie Schwalm) lets slip while the company is confined during a hurricane. Depraved discoveries leave donut-making Lesly (Monica Joyce) questioning her future with her intended, and vulnerable to slighted sibling Marty’s (Justin M. G. Huges) sexual suggestions.
I wasn’t familiar with Wendy MacLeod’s melodramatic potboiler The House of Yes or the 1997 Parkey Posey cult film it inspired prior to seeing this staging, which strongly reminded me of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? as remade by Lifetime. The production (produced by James Brendlinger and directed by Cody David Price) is more polished than most at Fringe, and the cast is solid, especially the deliciously acidic Schwalm. But I couldn’t shake the sensation that I was watching a well-practiced school thespian competition: competently crafted, but airlessly artificial and without the electricity of actual emotional investment. I want to applaud Penguin Point Productions for tackling a multi-character drama (always a risk at Fringe) and encourage their future efforts, but reluctantly I can’t wholeheartedly recommend this show for anyone who isn’t already a pre-existing fan of the property.
The House of Yes
Penguin Point Productions (Winter Park, FL)
Rating: G14 (Violence, Adult language, Some sexual content)
Run Time: 60 minutes
Genre: Black Comedy
Sat, May 18 2013, 8:30p.m. – 9:30p.m.
Sun, May 19 2013, 6:30p.m. – 7:30p.m.
Mon, May 20 2013, 10:30p.m. – 11:30p.m.
Thu, May 23 2013, 5:15p.m. – 6:15p.m.
Sat, May 25 2013, 2:30p.m. – 3:30p.m.
Sun, May 26 2013, 8:15p.m. – 9:15p.m.