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BWW Review: Marin Ireland Gives Life To KILL FLOOR

Nicholas L. Ashe and Marin Ireland (Photo: Jeremy Daniel)

If the title of Abe Koogler's new drama playing the Clara Tow seems unusual, you've obviously never worked in a slaughterhouse.

KILL FLOOR, we learn, is named for the area where the play's central character skins cows right after they're slaughtered, usually while they're still clinging to life. She's not happy with her new low-paying job, but Andy (the invaluable Marin Ireland), is desperate for anything after serving five years in prison for selling drugs.

Directed by Lila Neugebauer, Kill Floor is a low-key affair well suited for Ireland's talent for quietly drawing out subtext. Her Andy trudges through a series of letdowns and adjustments just to bring normalcy back into her life. Like the carcasses she skins every day, she's emotionally dying but still kicking.

Brendan, the ten-year-old son she left behind (Nicholas L. Ashe) is now a young man of 15 who calls himself B and has evolved from video games to books and has become vegan. With his father out of the picture, B lives in foster care and treats Andy's attempts to renew their relationship with indifference.

Danny McCarthy and Marin Ireland (Photo: Jeremy Daniel)

B, who is black, has a crush on Simon (Samuel H. Levine), a white guy who takes on a black gangsta rapper persona and, while insisting he's straight, takes unreciprocated oral sex from his admirer.

Andy's boss (Danny McCarthy) is an old high school classmate who is unhappy with his marriage. While he doesn't seem especially predatory on the surface, he does offer Andy a chance for a better job in exchange for some intimacy.

This is a play where nobody is happy with their life and it's only through the efforts of a fine company that the 90 minute piece sustains interest. Ireland, as is her habit, paints as fascinating a portrait as possible, but is certainly deserving of a meatier role.


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From This Author Michael Dale