THE FEAST @ The Flea
By: Patrick Christiano
The Flea Theater is presenting the World Premiere of Cory Finley’s THE FEAST, directed by Flea resident director Courtney Ulrich. In the eerie comedy about what is real and what is not, Matt and Anna’s relationship is going beautifully until the sewers under their apartment open up and begin to speak. We discover the plumber is angry, Matt’s paintings are getting stranger, and a storm is brewing in their relationship. Who knows what is real and what isn’t?
Matt, a painter of postcard-size canvases played by Ivan Dolido, hears loud noises, screams and groans, coming from deep within his toilet. A plumber played by Donaldo Prescod explains the situation "Sounds like a man, tied up down there. …Water streaming over his mouth. . Not quite a human. Almost like a dying whale, full of sorrow…like it was whispering the experience of its own slow death into your ear."
Now, Matt becomes totally obsessed by the haunted toilet. Then again maybe his relationship troubles and creative vacuum have put him on the edge of an emotional break down and the sounds and the plumber are merely figments of his frustrated imagination. His girl friend, Anna played by Marlowe Holden, is cheating on him and their relationship like his paintings has grown stale. Has the man gone over the edge?
Brooklyn based playwright Cory Finley is clever enough to keep all these possibilities afloat while the play shifts from comedy, to melodrama and finally horror show played like a soap opera. Director, Courtney Ulrich, who previously helmed "White Hot" at The Flea, doesn’t seem certain of what she wants in the beginning of the story, but picks up the pace decidedly as the original tale becomes frightening.
The cast plays with a solid commitment that serves the playwright especially when the play’s twists and turns become scary. The fast paced comedy delivers the laughs as well as the chills.
The production features Ivan Dolido and Marlowe Holden as Matt and Anna, the couple who struggle with their relationship. Donal
do Prescod plays the other man in Anna’s life, the plumber, and a therapist. The creative team includes Andrew Diaz (Set Design), Travis Boatright (Costume Design), Scot Gianelli (Lighting Design), Elliot Davoren (Sound Design), and Colleen McCaughey (Stage Management).
Performances of The Feast run through April 5 at The Flea Theater at 41 White Street, between Church and Broadway. For tickets or more information call 212-352-3101 or visit ww.theflea.org
Photos Bjorn Bolinder