Lipstick on a Pig
By Linda Evans
The Beckett Theatre
410 West 42nd Street
Lipstick on a Pig feels like an extra-long episode of Grey's Anatomy minus the witty banter between gorgeous doctors. Instead, we get Eaton Tate (Christa Kimlicko Jones), who seems to have had her sense of humor excised with the kidney she donates to her father, Blake (John Farrell). Eaton mopes and flops around the hospital, alternately yelling at and flirting with both Blake and Uncle A.J. (Dennis Hearn), a cringe-inducing drunk who swigs from a flask hidden in his sock. The family relationships here don't ring true, and neither does the medicine. As everything from Chekhov's stories to Atul Gawande's essays have shown us, there's plenty of narrative power to be found in the actual facts of the body, plenty of drama in the reality of hospital work. But writer Linda Evans seems to think that a straightforward explanation of a kidney transplant is less interesting than a series of trumped-up crises, like the dark spot an X-ray finds on A.J.'s lung that prompts a general freak-out but is never discussed again. If a play asks you to stare at a hospital waiting room for two hours, it should at least do a little medical research. Instead,
Evans's bizarre contrivances make this already ailing show a terminal case.