There is only one world where rhyming prostitutes can exist as true poets. They live solely in the twisted mind of Shel Silverstein. The Actor’s Repertory Theatre of the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts presents An Adult Evening with Shel Silverstein. Silverstein, the acclaimed children’s author and poet of popular titles such as”The Giving Tree” and “Where the Sidewalk Ends”, has written numerous plays for adults. For this particular show bringing the kids along is not recommended.
And you know what that means Mom and Dad! Dirty jokes!
An old rickety sign boldly shouts, “Abandon all hope ye who enter here!” The production is made up of seven short skits usually involving two, and occasionally three, people. With minimal set pieces and quick scene changes we are seamlessly transported to different worlds where we meet regular people in bizzare scenarios.
We see a husband confronting his wife as she becomes a bag lady, a diner who vehemently forbids “skronking”, and a twisted birthday surprise involving a dead pony.
All acting company members, including the director, Colin Grube, are made up of the conservatory’s alumni. Samantha Merrick delivered non-stop laughs, especially in her depiction of an ordinary wife slowly transforming into a belligerent homeless lady. Opposite her is Arturo Toletino, who plays her sincere worrisome husband desperately trying to make her see the truth. Together, they make an excellent comedic duo.
Moving outside of your comfort zone and traversing unexplored territory is a constant theme of Silverstein’s adult and children’s works. This play does the same. The series challenges the everyday decisions we make and the paths we choose to take on extreme levels. There is casual profanity which the actor’s execute with hilarious precision. In the scene with our cheeky rhyming prostitutes, with Ph.D’s no less, one of the ladies describes herself as “the closest thing to virginity in the vicinity.”
With a fun cast and seven thrilling scenes, An Adult Evening with Shel Silverstein will certainly keep you on your toes.I mean, doesn’t seeing “Abandon all hope ye who enter here!” only make you want to step out further all the more?
You have 4 more chances to see An Adult Evening with Shel Silverstein at the Studio Theatre, 1501 14th Street NW, Washington, DC.