Prophet in Pink
nytheatre.com review by Joan Kane
August 10, 2012
Based on the press release, I thought I was going to see a kitchen sink drama about down on their luck twenty-somethings living in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. I was pleasantly surprised when the story turned into more of a tale of faith, rebellion and redemption.
The story begins with Nate when he realizes that he is not good at anything he tries. He comes home, having failed as a stand up comic His roommates, Cara, an accomplished clothing designer, and Dean, a talented musician, try to reassure him that he will find his talent. Just when we think we are about to see a 20- something hipster whine about the lack of opportunity offered to youth today, we are hit with a dose of magical realism in the form of a statue who comes alive and wants to reimagine the world to make it a better place. When Cara and Nate put the statue in a bright pink dress it becomes The Prophet, who creates a cult of worshipers where Nate and Dean fall in love and reign supreme. Conflicts arise when Cara and The Prophet fight for Nate’s devotion.( Who wins in the end? No spoilers here!) By the end the playwright is able to explore aspects of love between friends, gay romance and gender identity.
Julia Campanelli plays The Prophet with a sexy, focused charisma. We believe she is capable of taking over the world with the charm she exudes. Zander Meisner embodies Nate with the inner conflicts needed to depict his character. Vincent DiGeronimo plays Dean and composed and sang the original songs in a clear strong voice throughout the play. I especially liked Ariel Reid as Cara. Her acting is focused and honest with a nice dynamic range. She is perfectly righteous as she fights The Prophet who is trying to rule the world.
Much of the play takes place in the living room of an apartment shared by Nate, Dean, and Cara and in Monsignor Golrick Park. The scenic design created by Jasmine Vogue Pai in stark, minimal realism consisted of a futon style couch placed center stage and a wall where "Know Her Love" is written in graffiti.
The costumes are modern-day-hipster fashionable. The dress created by Katharine Goerlich for The Prophet is elegant and sexy. Matching neon peach hoodies worn by Dean and Nate were a nice touch to symbolize their emersion into the cult of The Prophet.
Sound designer Julian Evans effectively created the seductive voice of The Prophet, underlined with human heartbeats and static.
I wished that the staging were more varied. Most of the action took place center stage. Though in one scene, which I enjoyed, The Prophet wanders onto the stage from the audience. In act one the pace was slow, but after intermission the action flowed somewhat better. Hopefully as the play continues running cues will get picked up and the story will be told without pauses.