F*#king Girls – Isn’t It Bromantic? (FRIGID New York 2011)

by Karen Tortora-Lee on March 1, 2011 · 0 comments

in Festivals, FRIGID 2011, Manhattan, Off-Off-Broadway, Reviews, Theatre

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F*#king Girls featuring Ben Thompson & Carolyn Gilliam (Photo by Andrew Bisdale)

F*#king Girls featuring Ben Thompson & Carolyn Gilliam (Photo by Andrew Bisdale)

The Bromance has come into its own and is now permeating black box theatre – behold F*#cking Girls the new Bromantic Comedy brought to you by Ben Thompson and Bro.  I mean, and Co.  Well, both really.  Written by  Thompson and directed by Paul Leopold this short, sweet, easy-to-digest play doesn’t cover new ground, but it sure does repave the familiar road admirably.

Set up like every typical comedy of its type F*#cking Girls is comprised of one good guy and one bad guy – or rather one faithful (borderline emotionally pathetic) guy and one cool (that would mean promiscuous) dude.  James (Jon Bass) hails from Column A; as the lights come up we find James drowning his sorrows over the demise of his long-term relationship.  Quick to step in is his best Bro Mike (Brendan McCarthy) who offers up a simple plan full of the hi-jinks that make for a laugh-packed short play:  James needs to sleep his way through all the ex girlfriends who didn’t give it up to him the first time around.

We then watch as a (seemingly) endless parade of gals – each a different shade of crazy – enter through James’ front door.   Some are more eager than others, some trysts are more successful than others but none seem to be able to cure him of his need to continue to love the gal that got away. The girls don’t matter, really. In fact, they’re all played by the same talented actress, Carolyn Gilliam who not only does a majority of the heavy lifting in this play, but also shows her wonderful range as she continually bursts through the door awash in a new persona.  From the all-talk-no-walk Femme Fatale to the stumbling party gal to the creepy stalker to the spiritual poser who enters with her own trio of midgets (puppets, actually), each character is fully formed and delivered with wonderfully comedic emphasis.  As characters, however, these gals are so stereotypical that it’s no wonder James is so hung up on his latest ex who seems to be the least volatile of the bunch.

It’s not about the girls though, they’re just a device.  Ultimately, F*#cking Girls is really about the guys.  Not about learning to weather a breakup, get over a bad patch or deal with heartbreak.  It neither honestly addresses these topics nor leads to any satisfying conclusions to that end.  It’s not meant to.  F*#cking Girls is a celebration of the friendship of two young men – and to that end it showcases them perfectly.

The play contains moments of pure comic genius largely due to the perfect delivery and flawless comic timing of the two male leads; not to mention the obvious chemistry they give off, worthy of any great comedy team such as Crosby and Hope or the more contemporary Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly.  It’s easy to see that  Bass and McCarthy trust each other; a few false steps and some scenarios might come crashing down but these guys pull it off and send it soring to a big payoff of laughs.


F*#king Girls
Written by Ben Thompson & Directed by Paul Leopold
Presented by My Lieges Brooklyn, NY
The Kraine Theater (95 East 4th Street) $10
Wed 2/23 @ 6pm, Sat 2/26 @ 4pm, Wed 3/2 @ 7:30pm, Sat 3/5 @ 1pm, & Sun 3/6 @ 5:30pm

FRIGID New York Festival 2011 will run February 23-March 6 at The Kraine Theater & The Red Room (85 East 4th Street between 2nd Ave and Bowery) and UNDER St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place between 1sr Ave and Ave A). Tickets ($10-$16) may be purchased online at www.FRIGIDnewyork.info or by calling Smarttix at 212-868-4444. All shows will run 60 minutes long or less.


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