Having a live rock band on stage! I also liked Barboza’s choice for Charlie to be charismatic, and not to play the quality of “creepy.” It draws the audience in and really helps us relate to Linda. The chemistry among the women is phenomenal, and I loved the moments when we get glimpses into characters’ heads through solo songs (there wasn’t a single weak voice in this cast). Ruble’s ability to jump between sisterly and sinister is nothing short of masterful and Dewey’s desperation would make her a typical heroine were it not for her incredibly offsetting (in the best way!) eye-acting. The juxtaposition between images of peace and violence, domesticity and tension, family and pain were very effective and powerful. Even from the first scene, a general sense of tension is created and built, particularly around Linda and her baby. You feel yourself getting drawn into this story and these people, but never forgetting about their barbarism. I want to make particular mention of Castillo’s choreography, which serves to make the light moments a welcome reprieve and the dark moments viscerally creepy.
What I didn't like
It was a little hard to hear the actors over the live band when they weren’t miked. The women have very little agency independent of the men, which I suppose is partially history’s fault. The ending seemed more like an act break than an ending, but there’s only so much time at the Fringe!
My overall impression
Really great show! Driving rock music with some interspersed genre parody is performed by stellar actors and augmented by engaging choreography. It’s an intellectual’s approach to the Manson Family, with minimal gore but a strong degree of tension.