Hip Shot: ‘The Sticking Place’

The Sticking Place
The Shop at Fort Fringe

Remaining Performances:
Saturday, July 19 @ 9:00 PM
Thursday, July 24 @ 8:00 PM
Saturday, July 26 @ 3:00 PM

They say: "The DC News career ladder has quite a few rotten rungs! The Sticking Place tells the story of young professionals sucked into this seedy underbelly of the Capital City. Bloodplay, thrill killing, twisted sexual politics, misfits and jerks. If we don't disgust you, it's not for lack of trying!"

Trey's take: Try harder. With the exception of a few glimmers of wit — and what's probably the best use of chitlins I've seen on a DC stage — this Grand Guignol-inspired black comedy feels like the sort of thing a bunch of Saturday Night Live B-listers might whip up for the company holiday party: a decent germ of an idea, underdeveloped and overplayed.

A curtain-raising video montage (quick-cut images of everything from surgery to S&M to humping monkeys) promises an adventurous evening, and as things progress a few tartly phrased silent-movie scene titles serve up a laugh or two.

But mostly, from its context-setting opening monologue (involving the longest TV-news stand-up in recorded history) to its unsurprising final twist (suggested subtitle: "The Revenge of Catherine Tramell"), Molotov Theatre's tatty little would-be shocker strikes false note after false note. (D.C. bars close at 2 a.m. on weekends? A sex-and-cutting fad among area hipsters is a story an ambitious TV hairdo complains about having to cover?) In a genre whose shocking, titillating pleasures are supposedly rooted in a commitment to realism, that's kind of a problem.

More disappointing: That a nominally ballsy young cast and creative team thinks it'll earn a laugh with a bit of accent-mocking in an Asian-takeout scene. And that a Fringe audience doesn't get the reference when a solo-on-Friday twentysomething, having just been hung up on by said accent, notes this truism: "I've officially hit bottom. I've been rejected by Yum's."

See it if: Your torn-from-the-sensationalized-headlines needs are too urgent for Law & Order: SVU to satisfy.

Skip it if: You'd hate to defile your fond memories of Cherry Red.

  • A Concerned Party

    The model is your mom. And the point of the show is to be gratuitous. Why the shitty accent? Because they can. Why the lack of social commentary? Because they can. Sophmoric - yes. But that's the point. Enjoy it.

  • Andy

    So who's the model on the poster?

  • Dan

    I suck too Trey but that is beside the point. Kudos to Moltov for their Fringe piece. The players did a fine job with a play that requires a bit of tweeking. The Yum's accent business seemed pointless and dated, and the blending of irony and juvenile animus felt queer. I look forward to keeping an eye on this troop and their future projects.

  • Rory

    I saw this show last night (Sat.), and I have to say that the review is very accurate. After the play, my companion and I had a discussion that echoed the review. It was an interesting idea, but "underdeveloped" is a good description. The adjective that I used was sophmoric. (The fake accent scene and the actors giving the audience the middle finger at the end of the play only confirmed my feelings.) The adjective that my companion used was gratuitous. We both loved the opening video montage. I thought the play redeemed itself somewhat my providing a bit of social commentary, and I thought that the ending had a surprise. My companion was not as sympathetic.

  • Trey Graham

    Russell: This would be the place for you to explain why.

  • Russell

    I saw this show on Sunday, and can't agree with the review.

  • Eva

    Awww...Cherry Red!! A tear just felt down my cheeck.

  • John

    Trey Graham SUCKS!