by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

It is difficult at first to find substantial meaning in the initial vignettes of Fefu and Her Friends. You’ll just have to stay with it until the end to really understand; the hints of despair underneath the gaiety of an evening slowly unraveling into a surreal hysteria that pulsates through the curated vintage of Frank Lloyd Wright’s historic Hollyhock House architected for Aline Barnsdall circa 1919.

The mystique of this immersive evening is the Peeping Tom feeling of witnessing these emboldened, strangely apostatic women wandering and playing, who are juxtapositionally liberated, yet trapped in the social dictate of conformity to an ideal of meekness and feminity.

Largely abstract and fundamentally feminist the presentation here is yet another gorgeous display of the acting talents of primarily Tunde Skrovan and Julia Ubrankovics (J.U.S.T. Toys Productions) whose specialty is Avante Garde, socially conscious stage production.

On a seemingly ordinary day, a group of women gathers to plan a philanthropic fundraiser. Throughout their nymph-like adventures in the house and garden, broken love affairs and complicated relationships spark outlandish behaviors and culminate in explosive confessions.

Fefu and Her Friends is a landmark piece as the first ever to be performed at the iconic house, originally commissioned by Alina Barnsdall as a progressive theater complex but never used as such. Fefu and Her Friends in many ways has realized a part of Barndsall’s dream.

Fefu and Her Friends is a play by Cuban-born, Maria Irene Fornes, influential in the Greenwich Village arts community (La MaMa, Off-Broadway) alongside artists like Lanford Wilson and Terrance McNally. It was originally written in 1977 and reframed feminism in the 70s.

Artfully directed by Kate Jopson and choreographed by Zsofia Nemes with musical composition by Daniel Szabo, it is Experimental Theater at a finer moment.

In association with Circle X Theatre Co. Fefu and Her Friends is also quite realistically and beautifully to the time period, performed by Talia Davis, Guerin Piercy, Kacie Rogers, Christine Uhebe, Caro Zeller, Claudia Zielke and Ian Walker on bass.

Now playing through Sunday, May 28, 2017