By Joseph Reed Hayes
Directed by Sylvia Viles Vicchiullo
Event 8 of “13 in 13”
Downtown Credo, Orlando FL</strong>
Why pay to sit through a show about a psycho family slugging it out on a bus ride to nowhere? Because unlike Thanksgiving dinner, you pay for the right to leave when it’s over. Riding the bus is a monthly outing for these three women: Grandma Jezebel (Jac LeDoux) is an ex-groupie with Ethel Merman insides a screaming to get out. Her daughter Sue (Wendy Starkand) might be the byproduct of an old Foghat tour, but her DNA lacks the fun gene even if she’s had a secret desire to sing opera all her life. Lastly there’s gothic Rita (Kate Lockwood), she’ so dark she thinks Anton Chekov is funny. The trio bitch and argue, debate the merits of sex, whether grandma is a due for the padded cell and generally terrorize the rest of the invisible riders. It’s a very funny ride, much funnier than the whacko rambling you get on regular public transport, and each of the three women seems born for the role. LeDoux did her best to steal the show; she was loud and raucous and told the audience to get their feet out of her way. Starkand went right from teenager to middle age without any of the fun years; her fervent dream is the ability to get out of a chair without making “That Noise.” Clearly she’s the peacemaker, if no more successful than Henry Kissinger was. Lockwood begins by annoying all of us with here prepackaged angst, but by the last scene she had softened into a whole person with actual feeling and vulnerabilities. There’s plenty of gags and some physical comedy, and even though the action flow behind the audience for some scenes it’s a funny and heartfelt slice of life. You’ll stick around to the end, and think how much nicer your family functions could be with some stage lighting and a good director.