NAKED GIRLS DRINKING!
nytheatre.com review by Don Jordan
Initial Warning: Naked Girls Drinking! does not
include the title-promised or postcard-advertised "naked girls,"
but if you pay close enough attention you might notice a girl
having a drink or two.
August 15, 2002
What this production does offer for a small one-time-only price of $12 is a look into the world of New Jersey salesmen whining into their endless supply of beer. During which time, I was taught that if I invest in a new play and become a first time theatre producer, I will (almost by magic) become a sleazy man-handling jerk who only wants to see actresses make out with each other on stage; realize that women can be easily convinced (a) into selling their bodies and (b) that their lives depend on me for a chance to become famous; and, that the actual artistic merit behind a play need only be considered once these prior two requirements are accomplished.
For that’s what happens to the salesmen characters in Gareth Smith's new play. This might seem like good fodder for a few laughs from the audience (and it is), yet the play takes its approach to this scenario too seriously to convince me that the world onstage is supposed to be imaginary. All too often the play-text seems to want to educate me about life through this bitter, self-deprecating lens. Additionally, there are so many references to film and theatre throughout the performance that I felt as though I should have needed the correct password to be allowed to enter.
I must point out that regardless of these elements inside Naked Girls Drinking!, there were a number of funny moments and the audience members did seem to have a good time. However, despite my own attempts to do the same, I left the theater feeling unsatisfied.