by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move
No it’s not what you’re thinking…it’s better, quirkier, more potent, more powerful and totally, obscenely funnier.
Feminism takes on a new, new tone in this genuinely tantalizing and hysterical Hollywood Fringe Festival entry, which boldly takes on the utter manipulation of women, how their ideals are exploited, predictably packaged and sold back to them so that advertisers can keep the status quo of marketing to a “don’t opinionate, just do what you’re told,” soft, girly, guilty pleasure ridden, female demographic.
THE OTHER F WORD GETS AN A+
I made sure to get a front row seat and playwright Alyson Meade actually accommodated me so kindly with her own when, running for the door for a quarter of a mile, I just made it to curtain. It was so worth the huff and puff getting there!
From the time the house lights came up, I never stopped laughing at the absurdities presented by three women (Carol, Evie and Roxanne) and one secret cross dresser (Daniella) who enter a focus group – a story inspired by spontaneous acts of viral activism when Bic released a pen made specifically for women, making it smaller “for her” and, of course, pink.
If any marketing director today thinks he (or she) can get away with treating women like the boxed up and nicely wrapped, child/girls of yesterday, subordinate to anything or anyone ever again or that women will simply “do what’s behaviorally expected of them” when it comes to advertisers selling them products, based on gender, sexual orientation, or race, he had better think again!
These women are total strangers with different lives, backgrounds, statuses, income levels and yet find powerful common ground. And regarding the pink pen – they are all in agreement. WTF!!!
But what’s so unique about this play is the unexpected rebelliousness of even the most conservative woman in the group and at the same time the definitive decisions each makes about her life based upon the experience. Each woman (and man) comes away with a rock solid identity recovery. Each becomes courageous about her own self-acceptance. Each of the four women even goes on to take at least one positive action in her respective life because she’s been faced with a couched accusation of being stupid, predictable, weak, easily manipulated and quite frankly, irrelevant, except of course when it comes to her buying power.
What’s even more super cool, is that none of them turns into a “hard core radical Feminist warrior women” as could potentially be written in this play. Instead, the focus group becomes a surprising catalyst where the women finds their respective voices. Each woman, in turn, makes a very human choice and exercises her independence in such a way that manages to enhance, strengthen and open up her life in a gorgeous way. It’s a point of view from any woman’s perspective that any woman can agree with.
Hands down one of my favorite shows at Fringe this year. The Other F Word was so touching and spot on in every way. Excellent delivery by all of the stupendous actresses, Marian Gonzalez, Maikiko James, Lindsay Lamb and Tiffany Rebecca Royale and director Danielle Ozymandieas. Incredible writing by Alyson Meade – Makes me proud to be a woman!
There are no more performances but I am hoping this show comes back for another run later in the year.