Hey MMT Fam! I wanted to share this review today, before I get settled in to watch the Superbowl – which mostly equates to me waiting to see the halftime performance that includes fine-as-all-get-out Lenny Kravitz this year! Okay, I’m back! 🙂 So last week, I got to check out the US première of the French play The Divorcees Club – which is playing here in Philly at the Penn’s Landing Playhouse through March 22.
The comedy tells the story of three roommates, Bethany “the stiff socialite” (Aileen Goldberg), Bridget “the rough country lady” with very small emphasis on lady as the role is portrayed the very masculine Stephen Croce, and Marie who is played “stereotypical air-head blonde” to the hilt by Kellie Cooper. All three actors transition through scenes non-stop through the hour and a half romp – that takes you from Marie and Bridget’s initial encounters with Bethany, who is seeking roommates for an apartment after her recent divorce, through a series of miscommunication, arguments, cheap shots, and bonding.
As I watched the play, I couldn’t help but draw comparisons to the 70-80’s sitcom “Three’s Company,” and coincidentally the show ended while part of the sitcom’s theme played. The comedy also consists of a lot of lewd humor, and the very appropriate “Benny Hill” theme music (shout out to the old school folks who remember that show) played at one point in between scenes.
While I did laugh at many of the jokes, which are mostly slapstick and/or lewd, there were a couple that seemed like they may have worked in another country but needed adjusting for an American audience – i.e. Marie’s claim that her ex’s “true colors” were exposed later in their relationship and the punchline being that he was black. Both my companion, who is a white woman going through a divorce from a black man, and myself were not amused and really didn’t get the punchline – so Marie married a black man, but didn’t know right away? – but we rolled with the story anyway despite feeling that particular joke was in poor taste.
The play culminates with the women bonding, after what could be the most unfortunate date night portrayed ever on stage. It appears that a lesson in friendship and setting priorities is cemented; however some of the choices made by the characters could leave the audience wondering how long that lesson would truly last!
All in all, The Divorcees Club is a comedy that doesn’t at all take itself too seriously and aims to entertain and gain laughs – at all costs. As Stephen Croce (Bridget) stated at the end of the play “If you liked the play tell somebody, and if you didn’t like the play (still) tell somebody!” So if you enjoy “Three’s Company,” with a mix of Benny Hill and can handle some off-color (pun intended) humor, this is the play for you. For me, some of the jokes landed and some were far off. The comedy is running here in Philly through March 22, so check it out for yourself and let me know your thoughts. When purchasing tickets, you can use code CLUB8 to save $10 off the best seats for Wed, Thurs, and Fri and code CLUB9 for Sat and Sun shows. Get additional show and ticket information at the official website here.
Until next thought family, Thomasena