By: Patrick Christiano
The Flea Theater is presenting the World Premiere of Mallery Avidon’s new comedy, MARY-KATE OLSEN IS IN LOVE, a delightfully smart satire on love and growing-up, that charts a witty look at one women’s journey toward self actualization in today’s world, where everyone is looking for more than their fifteen minutes of fame. Sharply directed by Flea Resident Director Kristen Seemel and featuring members of The Bats the play, which opened on November 18, focuses on the unhappy marriage of Grace (Katherine Folk-Sullivan) and Tyler (Alex Grubbs), late 20 year olds approaching maturity. Grace, who married her high school sweetheart, has done everything she was supposed to do to find love and happiness, but nonetheless is stuck with an unemployed lout sitting in front of the TV smoking pot.
The story challenges their ideas on love, sex and marriage when the Olsen twins, Mary-Kate & Ashley (Christine Lee and Kana Hatakeyma), suddenly drop in for a visit. The television fashion stars, Mary-Kate and Ashley, become the catalyst for a benign send-up of life’s outrageous dichotomies, by questioning everything in Grace’s shallow loveless marriage. When Mary-Kate announces she is in love with Grace, taking her to a beach in New Zealand, much to Ashley’s dismay, the play turns a corner, but there is no going back, and there are no clear cut answers to the questions posed by the playwright.
The evening in the company’s skillful hands is a wise look at growing up amidst today’s media blitz that is an insightful and hysterical examination of the tyranny of our own expectations. Bravo to the entire cast, especially those Amazing Girls (Crystal Arnette, Rachel Lin, Elizabeth May, Vicki Rodriguez, and Bonnie White), who make up a chorus of young twenty something year old women expressing their aspirations and loses periodically throught the unfolding action. Christine Lee and Kana Hatakeyma as the Olsen twins capture just the perfect bored tone for the rich spoiled stars, and Katherine Folk-Sullivan brings Grace’s struggle to life with startling poignancy.
The design team features Scott Tedmon-Jones (Set Design), John Eckert (Lighting Design), Ásta Hostetter (Costume Design), Kevin Brouder (Sound Design) and Michael Wieser (Fight Direction).
MARY-KATE OLSEN IS IN LOVE is now playing through December 8; Wednesday – Sunday at 7pm. The Flea Theater is located at 41 White Street between Church and Broadway, three blocks south of Canal, close to the A/C/E, N/R/Q, 6, J/Z and 1 subway lines. Tickets are $15 – $35 with lowest priced tickets available on a first-come, first-served basis. They can be purchased by calling 212-352-3101 or online at www.theflea.org.