nytheatre.com review by Mark O’Toole
Natural Selection is a comedy with a hint of the absurd. It also
has some moments of pathos, which are quite touching. The play is ably
performed by the two writers of the piece, Kelly Taylor as Myrtle, a
feisty character who whacks the life out of cockroaches, and Sharon
Talbot as Avis, the dreamer of the two, who despite all life’s woes,
likes things just the way they are.
August 15, 2003
It’s their tenth anniversary working together, where they wax lyrical and literary (Proust, Hemingway, Joyce) about the lives they have lived and perhaps the lives they could lead. Their ordinariness and mundane work is matched by an effective set design by Beowulf Boritt that deftly matches the mood of the piece, like a sign over their shoulders that reads "Alignment is Everything". Our heroes assemble small white boxes, not just ten or twenty but what seemed liked thousands. Certainly the unsung hero of the piece is whoever had to assemble all the boxes before the show.
Outside lies another reality for these cocooned women. But inside their world, they offer some hilarious glimpses at their existence. Both their husbands ran off with each other and then became lesbians (this is not a misprint), prompting Avis to exclaim, "I guess that explains everything." When the office phone rings off the hook, Myrtle shouts, "Don’t pick it up. I want to work in peace". It’s a constant struggle to realign their own lives, but Avis lives in hope that perhaps one day G.W. Bush, who reminds her of Brad Pitt, "will give me a hot wax." There is a wonderful choreographed piece where they "dance" with the boxes. While I thought the writing could be more up to date—who doesn’t use a computer in this day and age?—the show is well directed by Lynne Taylor-Corbett and is worth a look.