Saturday, June 30, 2018

theatre review - LITTLE WARS - Arizona Women's Theatre Company - June 28, 2018

KatiBelle Collins and Kathi Osborne
photo by Laura Durant
Click here for more information on this production that runs through July 8th.

"Steven Carl McCasland's Little Wars, which presents an imaginary meeting between such well-known, historical literary figures as Gertrude Stein, Lillian Hellman, Dorothy Parker, and Agatha Christie, is an intriguing drama that blends fact and fiction and takes place in France right before Hitler invaded. The play is receiving its Arizona premiere from Arizona Women's Theater Company in a well-cast and astutely directed production...McCasland's script is well plotted and his dialogue is realistic, with each woman delivering lines that are in distinct voices and are character specific. There is also an abundance of nuance in each of the characters....However, there is a good amount of artistic liberty taken in the piece...Joy Bingham Strimple...has directed her cast to deliver realistic portrayals of these incredibly strong women. As Stein, KatiBelle Collins is bossy, authoritative and argumentative. Yet we also see from Collins' assured performance the love, trust and passion Stein feels for not only Toklas and her work but for all of these women. Her monologue, when she ponders "Why am I not normal?" is not only very well written but incredibly well delivered. Kathi Osborne's no-nonsense approach to Hellman creates a character infused with realism, strength and power. ....While some of the characters as depicted are slightly sanitized from reality, the piece is full of honest emotions and presents many difficult topics. It is a powerful play that depicts the strength, vulnerabilities and power of these famous women set against the dangerous realities of Hitler's Germany while also focusing on topics such as rape, misogyny and homophobia, which are, unfortunately, still relevant today. " -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)