After chewing its title over for a while I’ve decided that Fluffy Bunnies in a Field of Daisies is about as good as you could get for Impact Theatre’s new production. The only question that remains for me is, now that I think that I’ve figured out what it has to do with the play, should I blow the secret?
Naah…Anyway, this play is most certainly a piece of fluff. No one is going to mistake that. And, as is typical for Impact’s productions, it’s very well done.
What is not typical, is that this particular piece of fluff seems limited to—perhaps exclusively of interest to—the exact group that Impact is designed to attract: 18 to 35-year-olds. And, of course, there’s nothing wrong with that. Though the company’s done well in obtaining that audience with previous productions, the plays themselves are usually also enjoyable by the rest of us who (ahem!) don’t quite qualify as being in the exact blush of youth. It’s not so true this time around.
But if you do qualify, this production might strike you as a definite winner. What it’s about, of course, is the fine old matter of the mating game. This one differs from most in that it centers on the issue from the young male’s point of view. There is some effort to have the play become an argument about the old virgin/whore dichotomy but, in this humble opinion, it failed to come to full flower. (Maybe it does to the right age group).
Most of the action takes place in a basement bar (somewhat reminiscent of La Val’s or Larry Blake’s) where three college age guys and the bar’s waitress, Jennifer (Emily Duarte Rosenthal) hang out on a regular basis, drinking beer and analyzing their mostly ineffective efforts to get their love lives working. Jennifer and the bearded Tommy (Steven Epperson, with a rather nice goatee) assume the roles of experienced advice givers to their less sophisticated buddies, who are lurching clumsily from one confused attempt at romance to another.
The first, and rather startling (sexual, of course), scene involves the youngest guy, (Greg Ayers) who bears up surprisingly well under the nick-name “Baby Boy.” Ayers’ acting, as is true of most of the group, is absolutely first-rate.
(Actually, a determined nitpicker might question whether Jennifer and Tommy really seem to have had the 30th birthdays they claim. Twenty-five, at the most, might be more like it. Even that seems a stretch when you consider Tommy’s obsessive Sherlockian efforts to prove that Jennifer couldn’t possibly still be a virgin. But they definitely come across as more mature than the others).
Ryan Montgomery plays Nick, a somewhat—but not much—more mature bunny than is Baby Boy. However, he manages to get set up with women in equally confusing situations, and with equally bewildering results. Perhaps one of the most remarkable things about Montgomery is that he is also the play’s director. He’s done well by both roles.
Naturally there have to be women characters other than the bar-maid. Four interesting actresses, Stefanie Goldstein (Tessa), Nicole Socia (Allison), Klahr Thorsen (Lindsey) and Jessica Viola (Yvonne), do the best that can be done with women’s roles that mostly resemble no women I’ve ever encountered in my life. But they are, after all, characters as seen by very youthful men.
The playwright is new and shows real talent. It will be interesting to see what he does in five or 10 years. Meanwhile, he’s writing a follow-up to Fluffy Bunnies.
(By the way, he should have done a wee bit more research about how diaphragms actually work).