BWW Reviews: WOMEN ARE CRAZY BECAUSE MEN ARE A**HOLES is Comedy Gone Wrong
After a four year run in Los Angeles, Brad T. Gottfred's hit comedy WOMEN ARE CRAZY BECAUSE MEN ARE A**HOLES is running Off-Broadway at New York City's renown Cherry Lane Theatre. The outlandish comedy is about four couples coming together for a brunch to celebrate the minting of a new couple. With a premise ripe for a fun-filled romantic comedy and a title that does all the PR leg work on its own, it's a shame that the play is such a staggering disappointment.
The roughly 80-minute production, which includes an unnecessary 15-minute intermission in its runtime, is a pristine example of everything one shouldn't do in a comedy. Puerile and completely unlikeable characters fill the stage. Reprehensibly offensive stereotypes of petty, misogynistic men and psychotic, desperate women are paraded before us. Wholly unrealistic scenarios that make pornographic films feel heavily plot driven occur. And to earn laughs, of which the average audience member had plenty to offer, the cast is forced to ham it up and overact. Not laughing once, but groaning more times than I could count, I can't help but wonder if I missed a pre-show open bar that lubricated the audience for the utter trash that was forced down them with the subtly and sophistication of a toddler slamming a square shaped peg through a circular hole.
To call the show sophomoric would probably over elevate the production and allow future audiences to assume the show has some sense of wit and charm. Fear not, there is relatively none to be found here. One actress in the production is able to slightly rise above the rabble to be marginally interesting. As Phoenix, a children's book author, Nikki McKenzie crafts a character who is smart enough to know when enough is enough. Her character has the intelligence to escape Los Angeles, this hellish circle of friends, and try her luck at something new in San Francisco. If only Gottfred hadn't written the most asinine, sexually charged children's book about apples and oranges and attributed it to this character, we may actually have had one person we could care about in the show.
Luckily for us, this overt "apples and oranges" theme wasn't missed by scenic designers, Christopher and Justin Swader, or by the costumers for the show. The scenic design uses a clever blend of oranges and reds, helping the audience to picture the pairing of the unassuming and unlikely fruits. The costumes designers boldly incorporate orange hues into the clothing for the women and vibrant reds into the ensembles for the men, which also illuminate the distinctions between the sexes.
If deftly idiotic is your fare, venture out to the Cherry Lane Theatre (38 Commerce Street, New York 10014). WOMEN ARE CRAZY BECAUSE MEN ARE A**HOLES continues to run through June 21, 2015. For tickets and more information, please visit bleepingcrazy.com, cherrylanetheatre.org, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 866.811.4111.