Review Roundup: What Did Critics Think of OUR DEAR DEAD DRUG LORD
WP Theater and Second Stage Theater just celebrated opening night for the world premiere of Alexis Scheer's Our Dear Dead Drug Lord. Directed by Whitney White, the production features Carmen Berkeley, Daniel Duque-Estrada, Alyssa May Gold, Rebecca Jimenez and Malika Samuel.
In this fierce and feverish world premiere comedy from WP Theater and Second Stage, a gang of teenage girls gathers in an abandoned treehouse to summon the ghost of Pablo Escobar. Are they messing with the actual spirit of the infamous cartel kingpin? Or are they really just messing with each other? A rollercoaster ride through the danger and damage of girlhood - the teenage wasteland has never been so much twisted fun.
Let's see what the critics had to say...
Ben Brantley, The New York Times: Each cast member defines her role with an intensity and individuality that are equally funny and scary. And you are always conscious, as you must be, of the combustible chemistry generated by this combination of distinctive, separate personalities longing to cohere into a whole.
Sara Holdren, Vulture: The thing is, to talk about Our Dear Dead Drug Lord at all, I need to be able to talk about the last 20 minutes. Because that's where, theatrically and morally, the play both makes its biggest bid for self-definition and, also, utterly collapses. Scheer is trying, or at least happy, to shock, but her play muscles its way into territory that's something other than "fierce," "intense," "unapologetic," "transgressive" - all those words we use to praise big scary gestures onstage. In the name of feminism and liberation, Our Dear Dead Drug Lord ends up in a place of violent solipsism.
Raven Snook, TimeOut: Under Whitney White's energetic direction, Samuel and the adorkable Gold mostly serve as comic relief to Berkeley and Jimenez's ferocious alpha females. Their excellent acting sells some of Scheer's wonkier bits-especially the talk about 9/11 and Obama's election, which don't convince as teenspeak. But just when you think you know where the play is heading, there's a disorienting coup de théâtre that leaves you shaken. Our Dear Dead Drug Lord isn't for the faint of heart, but neither is coming of age.
Brittany Crowell, New York Theatre Guide: There is an often-untapped power in women's anger; it can shift the tides of politics and turn the tables towards social change. After watching Alexis Scheer's Our Dear Dead Drug Lord, directed fearlessly by Whitney White, I feel a deeper understanding of this.
Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel