Patient: The Lady Demands Satisfaction
Legal Guardian: Playwright Arthur M. Jolly, Director Morgan Manasa
Surname: Babes with Blades Theatre Company
Address: City Lit Theater 1020 W Bryn Mawr Ave., Chicago, IL, 60660
Insurance: Bookmarx Medical
Symptoms: Wigs, swords, the English, broken furniture
There was too much untranslated German. There, I said it. Next time I think a patient is going to be dripping with untranslated German, I'll bring someone who speaks German to translate all the German. Moving on, the troupe delivered an exciting performance that left me wanting more from Edgewater's circuit. My hiatus from surgery has left me so rusty that I wonder why I still call myself a doctor. The patient's story plays at intentional grandiloquence; the subtitle, "A Jolly Farce" succinctly warns you of the theme. The plot, overall, was questionable, but I enjoyed the screaming and the German.
This troupe is high strung for the better. I could not believe their consistent energy: bravo. The show demanded it, The Lady Demanded it. The players en masse ally-yooped each other precisely in comedy and stage fights. Again, bravo. Megan Schemmel as Aunt Theodosia inspired me with her ebullience. The way she poked her fellow actor in the butt by the sword brought tears to my eyes. I'm kidding, nurse, I don't cry. Schemmel was acrobatic as she was energetic. This benevolence poisoned the other actors with mad jubilance that translated into wired stage action. The sword fights where not realistic as the playbill claimed, but they were still impressive scenes.
Alongside the comedic successes came the inevitable farts. Many of the sins are written in the script. Some monologues such as Lord Abernathy's exposition came off as explicit. Looking back, Trothe was supposed to be not-the-brightest, but still I sensed that her lines became excessively flat towards the end. It wasn't the actor's fault. The worst thing I can say about the troupe was their choice in accents. The British schwa was battered, prominent, and the only note considered for some reason. The jolly farce could not sweep the honkiness under the rug; it was asinine after the first half hour. Thankfully, the German arrived and took the baton of gibberish. Amanda Forman has an inner gift for screaming German roles. She will go far. The troupe will go far. One could tell they were close when Osric... stuffed Trothe's handkerchief in his mouth. Her reciprocation of love was to... proceed to instantaneously do the same. I wasn't sure if this was a con, or an impressive pro. The camaraderie of actors is an asset at the City Lit Theater.
Babes with Blades chose a wonderful show to encourage the stories of women in the spotlight. Jolly's Aunt Theodosia is quirky without being recherché or alien. I couldn't see anyone but Ms. Schemmel playing her. The troupe gets props for top tier coordination and with that, the patient stands at a four star health rating.
Honestly, why did this story have so much untranslated German?