Are We Freaks?
nytheatre.com review by Ivanna Cullinan
February 26, 2009
The Wonder-ful Twins beckon the audience into the world of Are We Freaks? and immediately they set the sly confusions of this piece in motion. These twins are more bound by their twisted relationship than any shared organs. They tease and tempt the audience with vague promises of strange doings and will narrate the audience through the various scenarios, providing an order that would otherwise not exist as these scenes move from the expected to the more tangentially connected. True to sideshow expectations, the show involves a Lobster Girl, Caitlin the Cat, and Abby The Inside Out Girl. However, as these "freaks" evidently walk among us, instead of sideshow routines or stunts, they are presented in scenes from "normal" life. Or are they? What is the mysterious event that entraps Lobster Girl and Caitlin the Cat? How far can Abby the Inside Out Girl be pushed by her sorority sisters before showing her true...colors?
Also included in this other world are "regular" people subjected to the effects of a mysterious mask sold by a carny gypsy type. How it all holds together is not entirely clear, but there is potential here and the piece could interestingly be developed into a stronger indictment of social interactions or more outrageous exploration of extremes and go even further in its promised challenge to the audience. The impulses are all there already.
These light and sometimes meandering scenes are enacted by a talented cast, most notably Uma Incrocci and Bricken Sparacino in a scene in which a mysterious mask grants a wish. Both imbue the situation comedy with moments of real connection and emotion that strengthen the comic fun—as if to suggest that underneath all the freak costuming are people seeking their heart's desire, whether they know it or not.