Two towering comic performances make Robert O’Hara’s “rolling world premiere” production a must-see: Emily Townley’s, plus Dawn Ursula’s as Francine Jefferson, a campaign manager who sees Townley’s Penelope as an obedient blank canvas on which she can paint her ticket out of Nebraska. The piece opens with Francine rolling around in bed in her underwear, oblivious to her simpering husband’s pleas for sex as she tries to come up with an indelible three-word campaign slogan. “Freedom From Fear” is the pithy nothing she lands on. Or, since nobody has time for that mouthful: “Fuh Fuh Fuh.” (It’s the economy of phrasing, stupid.)
My reviews of the all-politics-are-sexual-politics satire The Totalitarians and the Japanese ghost anthology Kwaidan are in today’s Washington City Paper, available wherever finer alt-weeklies are given away for free.
Emily Townley plays a ruthless political candidate in The Totalitarians. (Stan Barouh)