TIGERS BE STILL (Azuka): 60-second review

Anna Zaida Szapiro and Felicia Leicht in TIGERS BE STILL. Photo by Johanna Austin/AustinArt.org.
Anna Zaida Szapiro and Felicia Leicht in TIGERS BE STILL. Photo by Johanna Austin/ AustinArt.org.
There’s a tiger loose in Kim Rosenstock’s TIGERS BE STILL. The tiger incident combines with exaggerated personalities in an otherwise normal small town environment for a quirky (with a dash of surreal) play. The central characters are women in a dysfunctional household. All of them have experienced crippling depression, and the play’s self-stated plot line is how these women “finally got our of bed.” Our guide through the story is the younger sister, Sherry (Anna Zaida Szapiro), who has recently found meaning in life through her first real job as an art therapist. She received the job through her mother’s long distant romantic relationship with the now high school principal (Jared Michael Delane), whose awkwardness is only superseded by his painfully funny antics. The job comes with a side gig—playing therapist to the principal’s son (Trevor William Fayle), who has been acting out ever since his mother’s sudden death.

Despite the bleak premise, laughter and jokes run throughout. This dark comedy looks at the things people do to cope with tragedy, and finds the humor in these strange displays. For instance, the older sister (Felicia Leicht) has turned the living room couch into mourning grounds for her recently dissolved engagement, and in between drinking and crying herself to sleep, she watches Top Gun over and over in her wedding veil. Though actions such as these could be overwrought, TIGERS BE STILL has a unique energy that carries even corny jokes well, and ultimately presents thoughtful commentary on life, depression, and the times in between. [Off-Broad Street Theater, 1636 Sansom Street] May 7-25, 2014, azukatheatre.org.


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