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Review: Catch ‘Strays’ while you can

Backstage

By James Mattick, Contributing Writer, May 13, 2016

Strays is a new piece of experimental theater conjured from the mind of writer/actor Kim Katzberg who performs alongside past collaborative partner Nora Woolley (both New York Innovative Theatre Awards Nominees 2014) in this dark, absurd, and humorous production. Strays manages to remain funny throughout, while tackling interesting under-the-surface themes surrounding female agency.

Strays follows failed New York-based exotic dancer Terry-Anne as she mans a suicide prevention hotline before embarking on a pet-detective mission to find a missing cat.

The missing cat in question is central to the Strays storyline, but it is just one of many feline tropes and references littered throughout the play. Terry-Anne and her alter ego (played interchangeably by Katzberg and Woolley) don leopard print cat suits while wearing their hair mane-like as they hilariously and very physically inhabit the stage.

While Terry-Anne and her alter-ego inhabit the stage Strays remains ridiculously comic and laugh-out-loud funny. However, with the introduction of Terry-Anne’s confederate-hat-wearing father (played by Woolley), Strays adopts a darker yet still comic tone that acts in juxtaposition to what we’ve seen before.

In previous theater productions where males have taken on female roles, they are often portrayed as comic camp figures written for the audience to laugh at and with. Strays doesn’t reverse this, with Terry-Anne’s father taking a more serious and judgmental (yet still funny) tone about Terry-Anne’s decisions.

This is a fun play with a complex underbelly and well worth seeing. Make sure you catch the last few performances of Strays as this current run ends on May 14th. You can purchase your ticket in advance here.


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