Death of a Salesgirl is a fast paced, unique stage show. Described as “an absurdist tragicomedy with integrated media, about one woman’s struggle to free herself from her past”. It was only after I saw the play that I could truly understand that description.
From the moment the character Cat (played by Patricia Scanlon) appears on stage I was wondering what I was actually seeing. The character starts off seeming sane enough as she shares with us her desire for “a mutually beneficial, yet heartfelt, exchange between two consenting human beings” Soon her dialogue as well as her appearance becomes more frantic, yet I found myself (rather uncomfortably) relating to the crazy woman dressed in a Girl Scouts uniform. I suppose that is what they mean by “absurdist tragicomedy”.
As far as the “integrated media” goes, this is a whole new way to present a play. There is animation, sound, and special effects done in a way I’ve never seen attempted before. The effects weren’t distracting or too over-the-top, but perfectly placed in the small theater, an exciting complement to the dynamic between the two main actors. It made the entire performance curious, sometimes sinister, other times magical.
What I loved the most about this play were the actors; Patricia Scanlon and Paul Dillon interacted and reacted explosively. The emotion and energy these two give each other and the audience is amazing. Sometimes Cat (Patricia) caused me to laugh out loud, luckily I wasn’t the only person in the audience that couldn’t keep quiet. There were moments when I really loved to hate Frank (Paul) and other times when I almost felt sorry for him.
This play was written by Patricia Scanlon, and brilliantly directed by Matt McCray. Award-winning animator Dan Lund, video designer Adam Fleming and sound designer John Zalewski bring their amazing talents to the bootleg theater to give you something you’ve never seen before.
Death of a Salesgirl runs till November 17.
Showtimes are at 7:30pm, Thursdays through Saturdays.
Tickets are $25. Students and Seniors are $18.
Worth the price of admission just to hear Cat describe serving a can of expired soup.
Tickets available online and at the door.
The Bootleg Theater is located at 2220 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, 90057
There is a cool black-and-white photo booth in back so bring your singles.
There is parking across the street (behind the church) for $3.00
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