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BWW Reviews: Stages' STUPID F*CKING BIRD is Bold, Witty and Profane

Joseph Palmore and Elaine Robinson
in STUPID F*CKING BIRD at Stages Repertory Theatre.
Photo by Bruce Bennett.

STUPID F*CKING BIRD, adapted from Anton C. Chekhov's THE SEAGULL (sort of) by Aaron Posner, is intrepidly bold! Stages Repertory Theatre has a witty ensemble cast that creates clever moments with comedic lines, melodramatic scenes, and outlandish interaction with the audience, not to mention the chemistry. The show and the cast combine to make a fun night at the theatre.

To begin the series of events, the audience is coaxed to say, "Start the f*cking show!" We then witness an inordinate amount of "We are here" self-consciousness, profane dialogue, intertwining love webs that never quite connect, family dysfunction, and "accidental" resilience among other things.

Sitting in the audience feels as if you're peeking through the back gate of someone's yard on a warm fall night, eavesdropping gleefully. Yet you feel a part of the on-stage conversation during those extreme moments in which you're asked advice or to express your opinion.

Wretchedly unhappy Con (Ross Bautsch) plays annoying well, and I mean that with sincere adoration. As much as you (okay, I) wanted to shout, "Grow up and get over it already!" you had to feel sympathy for him coping with the well-played nit-picking, self-absorbed, narcissistic mother, Emma (Elizabeth Ann Townsend).

Joseph Palmore as Dev, Con's voice of reason, was a scene-stealer right down to his duck walk imitation. Whether the intended line was comedic or not, the asides and facial expressions caused laughter. The man directly beside me threw his hands in the air, balled up his fist, and waved it in a circular motion as if we were on the soundstage of the Arsenio Hall Show.

The pain of the ever-swooning Mash (Elaine Robinson) was palpable. She wore her "life's a bummer" mentality well. She sang well too. We watch as Nina (Emily Neves) transforms before our eyes from the sweet and humble budding performer to a bare-it-all vixen. She's agonized with impeding lust for Trig (Shawn Hamilton) who plays the love-interest of Emma and an uber-famous writer whose reputation precedes him. Charming is as charming does as he wins the ladies over. Sorn (James Belcher) is pensive and delightful.

I found the show to be wickedly funny with this parade of charming actors allowing realistic vulnerability to lead their performances. I recommend a view or two. The script has enough unrestricted points that each performance could motivate fresh and highly clever banter depending upon the audience.

Stages Repertory Theatre's STUPID F*CKING BIRD will run March 18 - April 12. Performances are Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m., and Sundays at 3:00 p.m. Stages Repertory Theatre, 3201 Allen Parkway. Tickets start at $19. For more information, please call 713-527-0123 or visit www.stagestheatre.com.

The production is approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes long, including one fifteen-minute intermission.


Joseph Palmore and Elaine Robinson in STUPID F*CKING BIRD at Stages Repertory Theatre. Photo by Bruce Bennett.


Elizabeth Ann Townsend, Shawn Hamilton, and James Belcher in STUPID F*CKING BIRD at Stages Repertory Theatre. Photo by Bruce Bennett.


Emily Neves in STUPID F*CKING BIRD at Stages Repertory Theatre. Photo by Bruce Bennett.


James Belcher, Ross Bautsch, and Joseph Palmore in STUPID F*CKING BIRD at Stages Repertory Theatre. Photo by Bruce Bennett.


James Belcher in STUPID F*CKING BIRD at Stages Repertory Theatre. Photo by Bruce Bennett.


Elaine Robinson in STUPID F*CKING BIRD at Stages Repertory Theatre. Photo by Bruce Bennett.


Joseph Palmore and Elaine Robinson in STUPID F*CKING BIRD at Stages Repertory Theatre. Photo by Bruce Bennett.


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