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BWW Reviews: STREEP TEASE a Gem of a Show

What a glorious little show so full of possibilities! Performed by eight men, delivering monologues made famous by Meryl Streep from many of her iconic films, there is something for everyone in this piece: comedy, drama, laughter, tears - and even audience participation. Yes, there are two quiz games with prizes, where audience members are asked to answer trivia questions about Ms Streep and to match her famous quotes to the films in which they originated. I had completely forgotten that she graduated from Vassar with a major in costume design. It seemed back then that our heroine didn't deem herself pretty enough to make it as a movie star. What a delectable twist of fate!

Streep has had a dynamic impact on everyone - the male as well as the female population. Everyone has his favorite Streep film, in which she created an identifiable character. Mine is The Bridges of Madison County. Although savored especially by lonely housewives, I find it resonates with just about anyone who has been lacking the spark of passion and desire in his (her) life. Streep infuses every character she plays with integrity; she is forever the champion of some cause or other -or one of its victims. Although the Icon that she has become, Streep seems touchable; she's one of us.

Highlights of the evening include: Steve Hasley's sensual and touching Francesca Johnson in Bridges, Drew Droege's comedically overly intelligent Lindy Chamberlain from Cry in the Dark, Mike Rose's ballsy Gail Hartman from The River Wild, Taylor Negron's quietly moving Sophie from Sophie's Choice - a nice change of pace from Negron's usually zany, fast-paced delivery -and David Dean Bottrell's all-out hilarious Karen Blixen in a six-minute take on Out of Africa. There's a cute opening with all the men who also provide a musical tribute to Mama Mia in the rousing finale. Other cast members who participate in scenes are creator/narrator Roy Cruz, Trent Walker and Ron Morehouse.

There are so many choices for a program of this type, and my feeling is that the scope of the show will broaden. Monologues can and will change frequently, and the show will transform creatively as its popularity eventually demands productions in other parts of the country. It's a loving and fun homage to a living legend. So find your inner Streep while it's still at Bang, at least through April, and run with it!

Stars who have worked with Meryl Streep will be on hand like Anna Maria Horsford, Streep's nanny in Heartburn, on April 10 and Peter Mackenzie, Streep's psychiatrist in It's Complicated, on April 24.
created by Roy Cruz
directed by Ezra Weisz
Bang Comedy Theater
now in extension at least through April 24 on Saturdays @ 8pm
visit for schedule and tickets

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