Before the Fringe festival starts, I pick out the shows I want to see. Most of the time I don’t know what to expect, unless I’ve seen a previous show from the producers. Coming in, I didn’t know who Israel Horovitz was. Yea, I ‘m not a theatre expert, nor a pop culture expert. Sure I know who Adam Horovitz is, but I had no idea that the father of one of Beaste Boy is such a great playwright. After the seeing the show I cetainly know who Isreal Horovitz is. I am amazed at the humor, crisp dialogue and gritty warmth that came from IF Theater Collective’s production of ‘The Hotel Plays: Three by Horovitz.’
This production has three stories linked together by a New York hotel. The set holds three parts, a restaurant table, a bed in hotel room, and a bar. Each are the focal point of one of the plays, but each interconnects as needed with the story.
Play One: ‘Fiddleheads and Lovers’ starts off the show in a restaurant as Ted Weil, Jen Dalton, and Tara Williams battle over pretension, dissolving marriages, food, and a little bit of chance. Plummy kisses bring out a smart, light and very funny storyline that is topped off with a dazzling sauce in the form of Jen Dalton who portrays a waitress at a foodie hotel restaurant with a richness and a full consistency. I was waiting for a plug from Lavomatic from one of the actors.
Play Two: ‘Speaking of Tushy’ begins and ends in a bar, but the hotel room with revolving occupants is crucial to understand the characters. All 4 actors shine in what come across as a crisp verbal farce, witty every time a British or French accent meets with another couple cheating on each other. Referencing A Streetcar Name Desire isn’t new, but Horovitz makes fun of every time someone’s yelled “Stella” at the top of their lungs when ordering a certain Belgian beer. If you are yelling it now, just after reading this, then you will laugh at the hilarity this second play runs with. It all comes back to Blanche’s ass in the end, anyway, doesn’t it? Maybe? Brian Berendts’ nearly faux Frenchman and Tara Williams ass sized obsessed hussy stand out with their affair ending exchange.
Play Three: ‘The Hotel Play’ is set apart from the other two. It is much more of a drama, with a little humor inside. The other women meets a bell-hop who is more than he seems. Two lives that are very apart find something in common.
The laughter was rampant from the audience during this play and it wasn’t just a light giggle or chuckle, it was a flock of guffaws. Pulling these three Horovitz plays together was a brilliant dash into the lives of normal yet troubled people, smart as hell, educated, but still messed up. Cincinnati Theatre goers will connect to this production. The first night wasn’t sold out, but I foresee the Know’s house filled for most of the run.