Bachelorette Walks Down the Aisle at Second Stage Uptown

Leslye Headland conjures a night of the living frenemies

When Sarah Palin proclaimed herself a feminist, it dealt a mighty blow to sisterhood, but Bachelorette, a champagne-fueled play by Leslye Headland, aims to deliver the knockout punch. The night before Becky's wedding, various frenemies (and a couple of guys they've picked up at a clambake) gather in a well-appointed hotel room to denounce the bride-to-be, whom one pal affectionately describes as "Pigface Fat Fatty Fat Fuck." Though the play ends with a chorus of "Don't Worry, Baby," "I Am Woman, Hear Me Bitch" might prove a more apt theme song.

Part of a project in which Headland has consented to write a play for each of the seven deadly sins, Bachelorette ostensibly concerns itself with gluttony, though the girls display equal aptitude for envy, avarice, pride, lust, sloth, and wrath. Headland has a talent for lacerating one-liners, as when Regan (Tracee Chimo) insists on her intimacy with Becky, saying, "We were close. I mean, we threw up every meal together," or when Katie (Celia Keenan-Bolger) whines, "You guys had an abortion without me?" And the much-delayed entrance of Becky herself (Carmen M. Herlihy) hints at some structural adeptness. (Think Waiting for God-ette.) But all the cleverness conceals some rather lazy plotting and a thematic arc that rivals Beverly Hills 90210 episodes in complexity.

Bubble lounging
Joan Marcus
Bubble lounging

Details

Bachelorette
By Leslye Headland
McGinn Cazale Theatre
2162 Broadway, 212-246-4422

Happily, director Trip Cullman has marshaled an able and eccentric cast and encouraged many nicely observed moments, as when Regan, epically stoned, plays a scene with her nose pressed to a glass lampshade. These performances suggest that while mean girls get older, they don't get any wiser—or nicer.

 
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