Curse of the Starving Class is playing at the Signature Class located 420 West 42nd Street. It runs two hours and thirty minutes with one intermission. They closes on June 2, 2019.
Sam Shepard is the playwright. He was born on November 15, 1943 and died on July 27, 2017. Sam won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1979 for Buried Child. He wrote forty four plays.
We see the set which is a kitchen. The room is a disaster. The refrigerator is filthy, so are the walls and they are cracking. The music gets louder as the lights dim s the set falls apart.
The door is missing from the house that leads to the outside is gone. Ella (Maggie Siff) is cooking bacon the only thing in the refrigerator. She has rollers in her hair and is covered facial mask. Wesley (Gilles Geary) comes into the room and askes his mother what happened to the door. Ella is evasive. Wesley tells her in detail what happen. His father Weston (David Warshofsky) wanted to come and Ella wouldn’t let him in. She said she was afraid he would hurt. Well he busted the door down.
Wesley leaves his sister Emma (Lizzy DeClement) comes in. She made paintings of a chicken’s body for the fair she is attending. When she opens the refrigerator the chicken she has raise, killed and plucked is gone. She screams who cooked my chicken. It was for my diplay. Upset she says she’s taking the horse and leaving. On the floor one of her pictures has fallen. When Wesley comes back he has a sheep he puts in a pen he has made in the kitchen. When he sees Emma drawing on the floor he pisses on it.
Ella tells Wesley she is selling the house and she has a lawyer to help her.
When she goes to change her clothes the lawyer Taylor (Andrew Rothenberg) comes in.
Ella and Taylor leave.
Weston comes in with his dirty laundry and puts it on the table. He’s out of it, drunk, doesn’t make sense and is filthy. Weston tells him he sold the house for $1,500 to the owner of the bar. Wesley says he heard he owes money to two thugs.
Wesley goes to sleep on the table, dead to the world.
Emma comes back head to toes in dirt. The horse dragged her thru the mud. She’s goes to take a bath.
The guy from the bar Ellis (Esau Pritchett) comes in bragging about the house. Wesley is upset and they leave.
When Ella comes back she fills the refrigerator with food
A police officer, Malcom (Flora Diaz) comes in to tell her Emma is in jail. She destroyed the bar. Ella leaves to go to the jail.
In the second act Weston has been born again. He is now sober and clean. Weston has cleaned all the dirty clothes in the house. He is making breakfast. The sheep is back in the pen. Wesley comes in all bloody with a beer bottle in his hand. He tried to get the $1,500 to pay thugs but he couldn’t get it.
Weston tells him a story about neutering the sheep. He notices an eagle flying above so he throws the meat on the roof where the eagle goes to get it. Wesley goes to take a bath. When he done he comes back in the kitchen he is naked. He walks out with the lamb. When he comes back his hands are bloody and he is wearing his father’s dirty clothes. He tells his father he killed the lamb for food. Weston tells him there is food in the refrigerator. When he opens it up he pulls everything out shoving food in his mouth.
Ella comes back exhausted. Weston tells her to sleep on the table. She does. Emma comes back. She can’t wake her mother so she steals the money from her mother’s pocketbook and takes the car keys. She’s leaving.
Weston leaves to go to Mexico.
There is an explosion. Two thugs Slater (Esau Pritchett) and Emerson (Andrew Rosenberg) come in saying that’s only the beginning if we don’t get their money.
Ella wakes up thinking Emma left on the horse. She tells the story Weston told but a different version of the eagle as the light dims.
This is an intriguing play about a messed up family. The whole cast shines. Lizzy DeClement is amazing. This play will definitely hold your interest.
By the way Annie the sheep goes home with her handler every night.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich.
Photos by Annazor.
To read a candid interview with the cast, scroll down to the left for photos. Click on photos for this and other shows.