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The Flower Society

ensemble theatre · rough riders theatre cavalry · Ages 13+ · world premiere · 1hr · United States of America

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Review by ALLYSON LAZAR

June 14, 2019 certified reviewer

What I liked

The performances blew me away. We arrived right when the doors opened before the show started, and all four actresses were already in character and simply going about their daily business, interacting with each other and with us. This was a brilliant and immersive way to introduce us to them. Their chatter and noise as they shuffled through bags of clothes, kicked empty cans and bottles, combined to create an almost musical experience. Once the show started, all the threads we had already been witnessing and experiencing pulled together to create a coherent story from what had initially seemed like narrative chaos. The whole piece was just beautifully orchestrated.

What I didn't like

SPOILERS!

I was disappointed when it turned out that one of the characters was not actually schizophrenic. I understand that she was demonstrating one of the important lessons that homeless women must learn, but it felt a little like a cheat. I had been wondering how someone so completely incoherent could be woven into a coherent narrative tapestry with the other characters, but the fact that she was instead incorporated as a fully rational character instead of the character we had initially been introduced to, felt a little like a cheat. I also lost interest in the character to a certain extent at that point.

My overall impression

The powerful performances of the four extremely talented actresses are still haunting me the morning after seeing the show and I continue to think about the issues raised, the lessons shared with the audience by the characters, and the skillful approach of the playwright. The endgame had the right amount of sorrow and triumph to be true-to-life.

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