by Brooke Berman
Abby Meadow, short for Absinthe, is the daughter of literary giant, James Meadow; and the obsession of burgeoning literary talent, Jason Stark. Jason’s debut novel, Cherry Pie @ The Hungarian, is based on a relationship he had with Abby when she was in high school. Held back by what he doesn’t want to call writer’s block, he calls her from London. Whether it’s to brag about his book’s success or to find some new inspiration from his former muse is unclear. After reading the book and discovering it’s a “revenge novel,” Abby and her Madonna-obsessed best friend, Clea, decide to travel to London to confront Jason (and maybe stalk Madonna). Once in London, they discover that Jason is out of town and Clea falls for the hotel clerk while they wait.
As the characters careen through their attempts to self-identify, their obsessions heighten and change. Abby’s initial strength and resolve are tested by her need to be desired by Jason and Clea’s relationship with Nicky, the hotel clerk, pulls her away from her excitement about being near Madonna.
Brooke Berman’s play Smashing sums up a generation’s obsession with great novels and icons, while exploring how people grow up and discover themselves. Berman’s use of direct address and short filmic scenes push the action of the play forward. Her wit and acute sense of the literary world of which she writes infuse the play with energy. It’s a funny, quirky take on what it takes to be a muse and what it takes to be a writer.
Good monologues and scenes for men and women in their 20s.
Reviewed by Kate