I saw American Sexy by Trista Baldwin at The Flea on Thursday night.
It was decent! The subject matter wasn’t much more than College Kids Behaving Badly, but it’s structured well and was brought to life by performances both coarse and electrifying. Baldwin wrote really well for her male characters and almost as well for her female characters (though actresses Satomi Blair and Nicky Schmidlein were left adrift when they weren’t faux-lezzing it up).
But I’ve never seen a play botch its ending this badly before.
Following the climax came nothing but nonsense. Once all their secrets were revealed, the characters shut down completely. One leaves, another seethes, and another commits suicide (probably). Blair’s character is the only one who didn’t have her moral blinders ripped off, but instead of providing any closure, she simply babbles her tired metaphor from earlier in the play until that metaphor is literally shot dead. The end!
Yet as much as the terrible ending derails the play, it doesn’t outright ruin it. American Sexy is still a solid production and it’s worth trying to catch one of their final performances. Good work, people!
Also, I found it strange that these poor actors were running almost the entire house themselves, running the box office, tending the bar, ripping tickets, and giving the curtain speech. Give these kids a break!
BONUS UNWANTED THEATRE OPINION: I saw Diary of a Madman at BAM last night. The play is a bit slight and obvious, absurdly Anglicized, and ends about eight minutes after it needs to—but that’s totally unimportant. Geoffrey Rush is having the time of his life performing (and posing) in this not-quite-one-man show. His energy makes the evening. Buy the cheap tickets! You’ll enjoy it.