Anthony J. Piccione
New York Critic
I honestly try not to be as colorful in my reviews that I write, as I normally would be in regular, everyday conversation. Having said that, I also owe the readers of OnStage Blog honesty, and thus, I feel obligated to say that while waiting to see the world premiere of Krista Knight’s new play “Selkie”, the only question I could think of, over and over, was…
“What the fuck is a Selkie?”
Unfortunately, over the course of this rather strange play, that question was never fully answered for those less familiar with mythology. (For the record, I did a tad bit more research of this topic after having seen the play.) Instead, rather than further explore this plot detail the show is named, it takes a back seat to a lackluster tale of sex, romance, kidnapping, drug addiction, and domestic violence. All might sound intriguing on paper, and indeed, the issues touched upon in this play are worthy of further exploration in the arts. However, this mediocre and underwhelming script – along with the fairly decent, but not outstanding, actors who bring it to life – failed to do much to get theatergoers to care much for the characters wrapped up in these themes, or to think about the issues it explores.
The main redeeming qualities of this show have everything to do with its visual aesthetic – with regards to the show’s set and lighting design – which one could easily be forgiven for thinking have had more attention given to it than to other aspects of the show. While not outstanding, it’s nonetheless what I would easily consider to be above average, compared to some other indie theatre productions.
I couldn’t help but notice this show was extended recently, since the performance I attended. Given the large crowd at the show, I can’t say I’m too surprised, but if we’re judging whether or not a play deserves an extension based on quality, rather than box office, I would question exactly how deserving it really is. If plays that are weird simply for the sake of being weird are your cup of tea, than perhaps you might like this play. Otherwise, you’re probably not missing out on much by skipping this one.
“Selkie” stars Toni Ann DeNoble, Elia Monte-Brown, Federico Rodiguez, Christine Renee Miller, Anya Kopischke, Lori Elizabeth Parquet, and Alley Scott.
“Selkie” is written by Krista Knight and directed by Matt Dickson, featuring set design by Reid Thompson, costume deisgn by Sarita Fellows, lighting design by Cecilia Durbin, sound design by Asa Wember, properties design by Addison Hereen, projection design by Yana Birykova, fight choreography by Dispatch Combat Collective, composer Jack McGuire, videographer Vance Spicer, stage manager Allison Raynes, and press representation from Spin Cycle.
“Selkie” – presented by Dutch Kills Theatre Company – runs at the Wild Project, located at 195 E. 3rd Street, New York, NY, from November 29th-December 22nd. For more information, please visit www.dutchkillstheater.com.