Theatre Mirror Reviews - "The House of Yes"

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note: entire contents copyright 2002 by Beverly Creasey

No Place Like Home

Reviewed by Beverly Creasey

The Coyote Theatre's wild and woolly "The House of Yes" charts a wacky course through the minefield of the "modern" upper class white family. While I was watching Wendy MacLeod's demented tragi-comedy I kept thinking of Ogden Nash's "candy is dandy but liquor is quicker"... as wine loosed vengeful tongues. Then as secrets were revealed, I couldn't help remembering the parody "Vice is nice but incest is best." Yuck. We're talking VERY dark comedy here.

These characters want desperately to be 'normal' but the best they can do for fun is to re-enact the Kennedy assassination. Talk about recreation! MacLeod is lucky to have the Coyote cast; they almost make "House" work. It's horribly funny --- believe it or not --- until about 15 minutes before the end, when the laughter stops and tragedy sets in.

Director Courtney O'Connor's actors know how to make the surreal hysterical: Kippy Goldfarb's outrageously condescending mother lion will make your blood run cold while she's tickling your funnybone --- and Helen McElwain again proves her worth in the zany department, this time making her character dangerously amusing. Poor Shawn Sturnick and Ron Rittinger as her brothers don't stand a chance when McElwain corners the 'crazy' market, but Tanya Anderson holds her own as the not-so-innocent intruder.

O'Connor keeps the mayhem zipping along and you find yourself laughing at stuff which really isn't comedy/ I don't know if enough time has gone by since the JFK me a stick in the mud. But the production is a winner, even if the play gets less than a Yes from me. "The House of MAYBE"? Maybe....

"The House of Yes" (23 May - 22 June)
Boston Center for The Arts, 276 Tremont Street, BOSTON MA
1(617) 426-ARTS

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide