Reviewed by Nicholas Linnehan
As a rule, I do not like monologue heavy plays or one-person shows. It can become too tedious and predictable, and can sometimes feel like a lecture instead of a dramatic story. However there is an exception to every rule, right? Women on Fire, produced by Royal Family, delivers us a smart and poignant piece of theatre that is just long enough to keep our attention but not long enough that it becomes burdensome or heavy handed. There 70 minute show it’s like a lean piece of meat, no fat just all the flavor and tenderness that you want.
The myriad of female performers tell us everything that they feel is paramount to discuss. From political rage to sexual assault to Bill Cosby, the topics discussed vary but they all have strong messages. These women muster up all of their enthusiasm and talent to let us know what’s on their minds. Although there are too many, in the well put together ensemble, to list individually, each one is praiseworthy and deserves accolades. Hearing these women speak so passionately is a treat for the audience and we never get bored. There are roughly twenty monologues coming together to explain why these women are on “fire” to express themselves about the important issues that the evening covers. It truly is an amazing thing to note the copious ground they touch on in their individual pieces. By the end of the evening, the audience doesn’t know which topic to address first as they all seem vital and necessary to address now.
Writer and director Chris Henry does an outstanding job weaving these stories together. She uses four beautiful dancers to transition us from one piece to the next. This makes it feel like a tapestry ornately sewn together, instead of mish-mosh of isolated incidents which the audience is ever so thankful about. Lorma Ventura choreographs some interesting and provocative movement that creates an ensemble on stage and unifies the piece. The tempo and rhythm are perfectly synced making for a riveting evening of theater. The audience hears the womens’ pleas for change, and if like me, leave feeling ready and inspired to take on the world. If you want thought, provoking, edgy, and no holds barred theater then go check out these ‘Hot’ (get it, they’re on fire) women.
Women on Fire plays now through June 1, 2018 at 145 W 46th St. http://www.royalfamilyproductions.org