Friday, September 07, 2012
Some of the cast outside the Surf Club
The play began outside of Fullsteam Brewery. It quickly moved to the MotorCo parking lot, then inside the garage at MotorCo. Before we could quaff a beer, the actors, with audience in tow, were heading up the street to the Surf Club.
It all felt so very Durham, theater staged outside and on the move. The fourth wall remained in place, actors didn't break character to speak with audience, but we were physically engaged in the process because we had to follow Richie and her audience around the Foster Street corridor.
The story as adapted goes something like this: Richie is a wild hard charging party girl. She is ostensibly wreaking havoc at the Cannes Film Festival. She is rolling deep with an entourage of lovely ladies when her spurned cousin Haley comes gunning for her throne.
If you will allow us an aside here, the costumes as styled by Durham bon vivant, and friend of the Clarion Content, Kala Wolfe, were magnificent. Of course, in typical Durham fashion, the fly costumes were a collaborative effort.1 It was totally believably that these gals were throwing down for party people supremacy.
Although much of the dense Shakespearean language was retained, the story is easy to follow. With perhaps a few nods to reality television muses, like the Real Housewives and Basketball Wives, the cat fighting was timeless. It could be Cannes, New York or high school.
Unfortunately, physically following the play around was a bit more difficult. Durham has not modified its open container laws or closed off Foster Street, so viewers had to choose between abandoning their drinks as the play changed location or dashing off into the street beverage in hand. This caused a considerable amount of consternation among the bar owners and bartenders we talked to. Apparently, with school just back in session, ALE has been out in force and they were concerned about possible violations and liability, not to mention minors in the audience traipsing in and out of their establishments.
So if you head out to see Richie, which we highly recommend, be careful. It might feel so very Durham to watch an all female cast reinterpret Shakespeare in the parking lot, but the Man is probably not going to accept that as a legitimate excuse for having a drink in hand while you do so.
Tickets available here. Runs Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through September 21st.
Richie and Haley go head to head, toe to toe, in the MotorCo parking lot
Audience and cast members observe the battle
1The costumes feature original looks from a plethora of Durham fashion designers including First Edition from the Clarion Content's style maven Cady Childs, along with our friends Gypsy Witch, Belindabilly, and Katharine Whalen.