Review: “Three Spoons” Serves Up Delight
Written by Bwog Staff
World theatrical premiere correspondent Julia Mix Barrington brings Bwog this review of Three Spoons, a new play from NOMADS performing tonight at 8 and tomorrow at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Samantha Carlin’s play Three Spoons may rely on some well-trodden storylines, but, to a certain extent, all clichés are clichés because people like them. That’s why, for all its lack of innovation, Three Spoons is definitely an enjoyable show, with a tight and engaging plot and the three lead actresses who truly inhabit their roles as sisters.
Melissa Caffrey, CC ’11, plays Alli, the eldest of the three, with a poignant blend of physical confidence and intellectual self-doubt. She knows she’s attractive, and she knows she isn’t smart. In contrast, Meg, the middle sister (played by Eloise Eonnet, BC ’11), knows she’s smart and has trouble feeling attractive; she masks her insecurity with (surprise!) academic drive—“being pretty doesn’t get you into med school.” Eonnet, however, is pretty, very obviously pretty, and Meg’s supposed inability to get a date, while humorously exploited in the dialogue, isn’t, in the end, convincing.
Katrina Kostro, BC ’12, plays Chelsea, and from her first entrance—drunk, climbing through a window—to her last piece of business—flipping off the lights to end the show—she’s magnetic. Kostro sells her ditzy-little-sister lines so they’re authentic and lends Chelsea a humanity—a reality—which isn’t necessarily present in the dialogue. She neatly name drops American history and makes cupcakes like her heart is breaking.
Carlin’s sisterly dialogue—and the camaraderie between the three female leads—is spot on. The girls go from snapping to wheedling to genuine affection with believable speed. Less convincing, though, is Alli’s interaction with Jonathon (Jonathon Grant, CC ’09), the boy over whom Alli’s sibling ties to Meg become strained. Their dialogue, including Alli and Jonathon’s date conversation, tends to lean almost comically in the direction of soft-core porn.
Perhaps Jonathon’s character is just too burdened with contradicting traits. Alli’s throw-away reference to Jonathon having won “that Fulbright,” for instance, seems to have been popped into the script by Carlin without much consideration—he’s so handsome and so smart! Yet Grant is unfortunately left to reconcile Jonathon’s arbitrary genius with the beer-swigging rest of his character, and though it’s a noble effort, it’s somewhat of a lost cause.
Three Spoons is still worth a ticket, though. A sleek production overall, only minor technical difficulties like overlong blackouts between scenes detract from the show. The sets, by Arnold Mwanjila, CC ’09, are appropriately middle-class, as are Meghan Coppoletti’s costumes; the fireworks in Three Spoons come from the powerful acting and from the predictable—but nevertheless delightful—twists of Samantha Carlin’s script.