BWW Reviews: Desires Smolder at Mad Cow's VENUS IN FUR
VENUS IN FUR is a story within a play written by David Ives. Performed in Mad Cow's intimate black box theatre, the tension and sexiness is palatable at such close range. Tim Williams and Piper Rae Patterson are a smoldering pair as both teeter between innocence and raw unleashed desires.
Set in modern day, playwright Thomas (Tim Williams) seeks his perfect female lead for his play. He despairs as the day's round of audition did not bring the strong and intelligent Wanda von Dunaye he seeks. As he is about to leave, the young beautiful and incredibly insightful Vanda Johnson (Piper Rae Patterson) blows through the door. Though she is late, Vanda convinces Thomas to read through the script with her. Throughout the reading Vanda shows incredible insight into the character and eventually dominates Thomas, just as Wanda does to Severin von Kusiemski.
As a testament to Patterson's performance her young twenty-something character is pushy and annoying, but as soon as she reads as Wanda she is stunning and strong. It is an instant transformation that is incredible to behold. It is as though Patterson flips a switch and becomes a character of the 1800-somethings. Her bubbly enthusiasm as the auditioning actress makes her instantly likeable, while her Wanda turns up the heat. As Thomas, Williams is self-righteous, but also does a good job transforming from the dominant writer who is always in control to a quivering man who begs for Wanda's love.
There are some heated elements of S&M and dominance, which is great if you're into that sort of thing. If not, then it is awkward and a little creepy to watch. Though the set is a simple rented studio with scarce furniture, the lighting and impromptu costume changes set the scene adequately.
Photo Credit: Mad Cow Theatre Company