Victory Theatre's Show Pony Nine to Five for the Twenty-First Century

Leigh Kennicott Reviews - Theater
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The veteran producing team of Gobetti and Ormany has done it! The two actors/turned directors have discovered a superb comedy to assuage our collective angst during the tenure of our divisive and culturally incorrect president.  Judith Leora’s Show Pony is a snappy, smart, and deceptively subtle examination of hierarchical gender and racial relationships in the work place.

The playwright places five women together in a board room to hash out the differences in management styles between a white-and-male-majority ad agency and an acquired African-American boutique. On the distaff side, Patricia (Elle Verneé) is a down-to-earth office manager whose settled life takes a sudden, surprising turn. Destiny (Bianca LeMaire) is the smart and sassy Account Exec whose allure has a lot to do with the merger. Krystal Roche (Omolola) speaks truth to…..just about everyone with her unique, Haitian point of view.

The dominant agency is represented by an eccentric and off-putting copy-writer and, it turns out, half-owner, Sam (brilliantly played by Lizzy Kimball) who spends most of Act One instigating arguments. Tara (Sionne Elise), an aspiring intern, stands in for the absent (and only) male, Walker, in the first act. Her niaiveté, coupled with Sam’s outrageous behavior, upends any attempt that might have been made for a smooth transition.

After that fast-paced first act, the second settles down into the play’s key point. The sleek turquoise-walled board room, masterfully designed by Evan Bartoletti, gives way to a chintzy-hotel bedroom where Walker (The Victory’s own marshall McCabe), rendesvous with Destiny. We soon learn what’s at stake: even with the apparent gains that have been made since the 60s, the world of business sails along as usual, with the intention of preserving the status quo. Just as with Nine to Five, playwright Leora presents us with a satisfying come-uppance that you’ve got to see.

In addition to Bartoletti’s boundary-defying set, director Tom Ormany is abetted by fashionable costuming by Lauri Fitzsimmons, with lighting by Carol Doehring and sound design by David Duarte. Despite having been written a number of years ago, as Ormany says, “Show Pony is about as current as you can get.”

Show Pony continues  at the Little Victory Theatre, Friday and Saturday at 8:00 PM and Sunday at 4:00 PM through November 18th . The Victory Theatre Center is located at 3326 W. Victory Blvd., Burbank 91505. Tickets: $24.00 – 34.00. Phone (818) 841-5421,  or online: www.victorytheatrecenter.org.