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The Kitchen Witches

a Comedy
CATEGORY : COMEDY
by Caroline Smith

COMPANY : Out of Box Theatre [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Out of Box Theatre at Artisan Resource Center [WEBSITE]
ID# 4897

SHOWING : May 06, 2016 - May 21, 2016

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

When Cable Access 4 cancels the stale shows of reigning cooking queens Isobel “Busy Izzy” Lomax and Dolly “Babcha” Biddle, their seething 30-year-old rivalry simultaneously makes their dreams and nightmares come true. They’ve landed a new timeslot. Together. And if they want to stay in the kitchen, they are going to have to learn how to work together as The Kitchen Witches. Caroline Smith’s rowdy play goes for big laughs and critics noted "It is better than a Jerry Springer/Martha Stewart cage match. This production will knock your socks off."


CAST & CREW LIST
Director Jeffrey Bigger
Isobel "Busy Izzy" Lomax Pat Bell
Rob the Camera Guy Ryan Lamotte
Dolly "Babcha" Biddle Betty Mitchell
Stephen Biddle Dylan Parker Singletary
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

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Watered-Down Soup
by playgoer
Sunday, May 15, 2016
3.0
"The Kitchen Witches" is one of those plays that sound very entertaining on paper. Two women, past rivals for the same man and current rivals for the same TV cooking show time slot, are compelled to join forces in a bickering-filled new TV show. In performance, the situation quickly becomes tiresome. The structure of the play doesn’t help, with a sudden revelation coming out of the blue at the end of the first act, driving the second act into more serious territory. It’s pretty much a by-the-book attempt at standard entertainment.

The production at Out of Box Theatre goes all-out on costumes, designed by Julie Resh, but skimps on the set, designed by Wally Hinds with what looks like leftover pieces from other sets. The set is functional, however, with a long counter center stage, bisected by a stovetop, and a tech stand down right and dressing room doors up right. A red refrigerator, food storage bookcase, and prep table upstage add to the slapdash quality of the set. Jeffrey Bigger’s sound design has some of the same quality, with the same Sinatra music played multiple times between scenes. Jeff Costello’s lighting design is fine, but unremarkable.

The acting is capable, but comes off as a bit flat. Jeffrey Bigger, the director, hasn’t shaped the play with many ups and downs of emotion, with one confrontation in the second act coming across as extremely awkward. Betty Mitchell and Pat Bell are adequate as the "Kitchen Witches," as is Dylan Parker Singletary as the show producer. Ryan LaMotte scores in a generally silent role, with most scenes ending just as he is about to utter words for the first time. It’s all a little broad and flat.

Audience participation is part of the show. An applause sign is raised (inconsistently) when audience applause for the TV show is expected, and there are a couple of other instances where audience reaction is solicited. One unlucky (pre-selected) audience member is introduced as a celebrity guest judge for one short segment, and that falls about as flat as the rest of the show.

Place references in the script have all been turned into local metro Atlanta references. Rather than making the play seem more timely and relevant, this tends to make it seem pandering. This is middle-of-the-road entertainment with the entertainment quotient diluted, like watered-down soup. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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