Sweet and vibrant, if not particularly substantive, Kathryn Walat’s Victoria Martin: Math Team Queen positions itself as the Laffy Taffy of the theatrical season banquet. In a candy-colored production, helmed by Loretta Greco, the Women’s Project offers this tale of a high school math team and their droll struggle to win the state championships.
Jessi Campbell plays the titular Victoria, a sophomore with a penchant for pink Uggs and self-approbation: “I’m popular, but I’m also totally, totally smart.” Through the course of the play she teaches her teammates some lessons in cool; “She brought Cracker Jacks to practice because she said they were retro.” Vickie herself receives an education in poise and compassion.
Walat excels at characterization and doesn’t lack for great lines. Vickie’s analysis of Anne Frank: “She dies and they read her diary? That is—so not fair.” But this adolescent confection seems an odd choice for the Women’s Project and its audience. The spectators, quite a few decades removed from high school, seemed to find the frolics and slang somewhat bizarre. Greco offered a sleek and vivacious production, but couldn’t wring much consequence or import from the playful script or its conventional narrative structure. The dramatic diet ought to allow for some measure of stage candy—as long as it can locate an audience eager to enjoy the snack.