Theater: “Shhh” written and directed by Clare Barron
“Shhh,” a new play written and directed by Clare Barron, amounts to a series of blackout skits about s-e-x. In the first, Shireen (played by Barron) is chatting with Kyle, her recent breakup (Greg Keller) but he is doing something with his big toe that is making her reconsider her decision. In the next scene, Shireen describes her sex life in rather graphic terms to her postal worker sister Witchy Witch (played by the very funny Constance Shulman).
Witchy Witch, meanwhile, is promising a night of pleasure to Penny (Janice Amaya), a gender neutral character who goes to sex parties and has a hairstyle not unlike that worn by Mo of The Three Stooges. Next scene: a pizza parlor where two young women complain about men who won’t wear condoms during sex. “Don’t you wish there was a button you could push that would eliminate all straight white men for good?” asks Francis (Nina Grollman).
There are a few other scenes of spanking, and witchy-like incantations, along with dialogue containing more F-bombs than are heard on a typical construction site. Too bad such talented actors are trapped in this incoherent, unfunny little play. Ms. Barron needs to study the works of such bad boys as Neil LaBute and Todd Solondz should she hope to be in their league someday. A rare misfire by Atlantic Theater Company. You’re welcome.