Review "Feet of Clay": Knocks Your Socks Off!

LASTmatch Theatre Company presents

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FEET OF CLAY
At the Royal George Gallery Theatre, 1641 N. Halsted
Written by Stephen Louis Grush
Based on Anton Chekov's 'Three Sisters'
Directed by David Perez
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm
Thru March 19th
Buy Tickets
Running Time:  Ninety minutes with no intermission

Reviewed by Katy Walsh

Orah hates her job.  Matty hates her marriage.  Iris hates her hometown.  Three sisters take inventory of their lives and try to figure out how to get unstuck.   LASTmatch Theatre Company presents the world premiere of FEET OF CLAY.  The Ledet family is commemorating the anniversary of their father's death.  To pay respect to the family, a few army guys visit their fallen comrade's home.  By inheritance, the house is owned by the scholarly, unemployed brother.  The sisters still call it 'their home' and act as unofficial hostesses.  Southern hospitality, food and bourbon keep the party going.  Underneath the wishful drinking, subtle activities are shifting to get the sisters moving.  The male guests are looking to rescue the gals from their misery.  On the flipside, the female guest is looking to change it all up to her advantage. True or perceived, love is the escape route out.  The outcomes are mixed.  Is it better to be stuck or unstuck?  FEET OF CLAY fits into a classic shoe but strides effectively in an army boot.

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Playwright Stephen Louis Grush pens a tight modern adaptation of Anton Chekhov's 'Three Sisters.'  Grush translates Russian into pure Americana.  Grush sets the play near an army base.  Instead of Moscow being the desired replacement, it's New Orleans.  Hopes are penned on the wistful memories of the disaster-denying city.  The show starts with a disturbing scene that is repeated later.  They seem odd until they become alarmingly relevant.   Under the direction of David Perez, for good and bad, this is real family.  They mock and love each other passionately.  The sibling bond is bittersweet.  It's a  you-drink-to-much- I- love-you-anyway functional family.  Conversations start offstage then playfully strut onto the porch.  Dialogue overlaps and sidebar with a natural party flow.  

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For a female-founded theatre company, LASTmatch Theatre Company produced a show with four strong women.  Not quite the 'ladies' from the classic, these sisters cuss and drink like sailors.  'I think we'd be a lot nicer with drinks in our hands.' Kimberly Logan (Orah) is hysterical as the sarcastic sister.  She jabs with pungent one liners.  'All I do is think, I'm ready to do!' Leah Karpel (Iris) is sweet without being sappy.  Karpel plays practical idealist with a dreamy sensibility.  The desperate housewife, Jennifer Alexander (Matty) has a poignant discourse about the irrelevance of time.  The trailer-trash sister-in-law, Annie Kehoe (Nambi) is deliciously despicable as the bitchy home-wrecker.  The male ensemble members support the women showcase with understated but distinctive personas.  A stand-out, Craig Cunningham (Sonny) is riveting as a soldier plagued with service-oriented nightmares.  His intensity is haunting from silent stares to disturbing revelations.    

FEET OF CLAY march solidly into your head and continue to walk in place long after it knocks your socks off. 

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