In the beginning, God created a gated subdivision. And he saw that it was good. Well, good-ish. Not bad, at any rate. Actually, there were some problems. Welcome to the world of Lynn Rosen's Apple Cove, a frenzied, farcical comedy at the Women's Project. This Miltonic mash-up satirizes political rigidity, conservative Christianity, gardening, parenting, and probably a lot of other things too.
Conservative subdivision feels some heat.
By Lynn Rosen Women's Project 424 West 55th Street 212-239-6200, womensproject.org
The genesis of the story emerges when young lovebirds Alan and Edie King (Erin Gann and Allison Mack) buy a home in Apple Cove, next door to Edie's domineering father (Paul Carlin) and his shrewish wife (Kathy Searle). But soon strange roses overrun the garden and stranger longings overwhelm Edie.
Rosen wants to discuss how human nature will cut loose no matter how confining the circumstances, but she wields her metaphors with all the subtlety of a truncheon, a strategy shared by director Giovanna Sardelli and the designers. The Apple Cove rule book is displayed on a preacher's lectern; the offending roses are enormous and covered in glitter. The actors don't go in for nuance, either, shouting their lines rather than speaking them. On the seventh day, God rested, but this exhausting play never lets up.