Hal Horowitz Photography
Stephan Lee
November 08, 2013 AT 05:00 AM EST

How to Make Friends and Then Kill Them

Current Status
In Season
run date
Katya Campbell, Keira Keeley, Jen Ponton
Kip Fagan
Halley Feiffer

We gave it a C

Halley Feiffer’s How to Make Friends and Then Kill Them opens with three girls shrieking at the top of their lungs, and over the next 90 minutes, they never really stop.

The play (running through Dec. 8 at Off Broadway’s Rattlestick Playwrights Theater) follows two sisters, Ada (Katya Campbell) and Sam (Keira Keeley), who are left to fend for themselves by their unseen alcoholic mother. They develop a volatile dynamic, one that?s prone to violent mood swings and sudden power shifts, in which Ada is the star and Sam is her supplicating admirer. The girls wrap their tentacles around Dorrie (Jen Ponton), an overweight loner with an acne problem and a host of other more serious ailments, and pull her into their demented, dysfunctional world. As the girls get older, their co-dependent habits only deepen and becoming more disturbing until, as the title suggests, their weird little world gets deadly.

The manic performances and the mind-numbing repetition of Feiffer’s script suggest that everyone involved had been encouraged to binge on Pixie Stix before coming into work. That in itself wouldn?t be a problem, but the play?s aggressive need to be weird seems to supersede any of its other goals. C

(Tickets: rattlestick.org)

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