Pink Freud, Dark Side of the Womb (The Significance of Everyman) | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Pink Freud, Dark Side of the Womb (The Significance of Everyman) 

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Invisible Productions, at Cafe Voltaire.

Dina Renee Lucia's first play is well cast and intelligently acted. But it needs significant rewriting: Pink Freud is a smug melodrama with overwritten philosophical interludes about two sisters who sacrifice their partnership in their jealous search for the perfect man. Wallowing in their unsatisfying relationships and loneliness, the characters speak to the audience as if to a journal or a therapist. The final betrayal, sketchily written, makes little sense unless we accept without question that marriage is the only important thing in the sisters' lives.

Despite excellent performances by Laura Lanman Givens and Elizabeth Owen as the women and Keli Dean Hook as all nine men, the premise of the play makes all the characters unappealing and pitiful, with no room to love each other, much less themselves. According to Lucia, women are to blame: it's women's nature to obsess about men and compete for them. But to me it's an easy victory for everyman that glorifies his power without acknowledging the economic and social politics of his dominance.

Intentionally or not, Lucia in her meditations on "the sweet momentous feathers of obsession" (her way of saying "man crazy") reinforces the stereotype that single women, even smart ones, hurt themselves by means of the very men they expect to rescue them. This play makes single heterosexual women seem isolated scullery maids waiting for their fairy godmothers to intervene while enduring a siege of geeks and abusers. Pink Freud is a victim's lament, a Cinderella-meets-Freud brooding match--its heroines fall before the struggle even begins.

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