EXTENDS Thru December 4th
Trap Door Theatre presents
ME TOO, I AM CATHERINE DENEUVE
At 1655 W. Cortland
Written by Pierre Notte
Translated by David Bradby
Directed by Valery Warnotte
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm
Thru November 20th
Running Time: Approximately ninety minutes with no intermission
Reviewed by Katy Walsh
‘I’ll have what I want, when I want it.’ Forced to eat fish by her abusive mother, what’s a grown-up woman to do? Pretend to be a famous French actress! Trap Door Theatre presents ME TOO, I AM CATHERINE DENEUVE, the U.S. premiere and English translation of the award-winning “Moi Aussi, Je Suis Catherine Deneuve.” Mother is a bitter, never-made-it, has-been singer. Sister tortures herself with daily arm cutting and closeted cabaret singing. Father deserted the family. Brother’s gone too! Hating who she is, Genevieve reinvents herself by assuming a legendary celebrity’s identity. Scarves, sunglasses and cigarettes, Genevieve goes from frumpy to glam! What’s the best way to deal with family drama? Join it, ignore it, or escape it. Genevieve opts for the last option. Her fantasy allows her to be a visiting dignitary in the crazy household. ME TOO, I AM CATHERINE DENEUVE is grown-up-make-believe hilariously spun out of control.
Imported from Paris, Director Valery Warnotte paces the show in a tight, highly-charged ninety minute package. The family intensity is continually interrupted with soulful French singing. The dynamic interruptions add to the whimsy of sisters gone mad. In a house of crazy, it’s sometimes hard to determine the biggest nut-job. Despite her daughters competing with delusions of grandeur, mother wins the loony pageant. Beata Pilch (mother) keeps the raving at a furious rate. Whether complaining about blood stains or lemon cake, Pilch is the mother of self-involvement. Pilch has some deliciously baffling actions that are pure laugh-out-loud absurdity. Holly Thomas is Catherine Deneuve or at least a hilarious parody. Thomas goes from victim to diva with a wardrobe change and an attitude adjustment. Her voice becomes wonderfully haughty with ridiculous proclamations. In the limitless world of make-believe, Marie chooses to be her mother? Sadie Rogers (Marie) sings forlorn and beautifully as she pretends to be a more successful version of her mother’s younger self. ‘I love you so much I could die’ is not quite the upbeat song for hopeful romantics. Rogers is a walking tragedy! She dramatically announces to her family that she held her final performance and said goodbye to all her fans. Insanity is the one reality in this fun house of misery.
‘Ecoute voir’, it’s all about ‘Les Collégiennes’ in this ‘Le choc’ comedy about ‘Belle du Jour’. ‘Les Parisiennes’ is spoken in English and sung in French. Visual subtitles appear in a frame to provide translation like a ‘Um Filme Falado’. ‘Ils sont grands, ces petits’, I might not have assumed a celebrity persona. If ‘Si c’était à refaire’? ME TOO, I AM CATHERINE DENEUVE! ‘Absolument fabuleux’ !
Subbing in for ‘Un monsieur de compagnie’, Jen describes the show with ‘comique, tragique, satirique.’
WAITING FOR THE SHOW
‘Le Vent de la nuit’ blows us to Jane’s, 1655 W., Cortland, to satisfy ‘The Hunger’. Jane’s isn’t really ‘Drôle d’endroit pour une rencontre’ but the oddity is that the Trap Door is literally between the two dining areas. ‘Tout peut arriver’, Thursday night is ½ price appetizer. The cheese platter even at full price is ‘Au plus près du paradis’. Sometimes, I imagine true bliss that ‘Ca n’arrive qu’aux autres’. But tonight, it’s ‘À nous deux’! We pair the platter with a nice Shiraz. ‘Don’t Touch the White Woman!‘ when she’s ‘la chamade’ from heaven! ‘Je vous aime’, ‘Je rentre à la maison’!