Chopper

Ensemble Studio Theatre
549 W 52nd St, New York, NY 10019
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WHAT IS IT ABOUT?

EXTENDED THROUGH MARCH 12TH! Wildfire Productions presents the New York premiere of Chopper by Leah Ryan. Nominated for the 2004 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, "Chopper" is hilarious and heartbreaking. It's 1980. Kathleen and Emily have been best friends since the 4th grade. Now, as young adults on their own, Kathleen and Emily struggle to make ends meet. They live in a college town, but don't go to college. They have an apartment, but they can't pay their rent. They have boyfriends who aren't really their boyfriends. Through the girls' escapades in beer drinking, TV watching, and struggling to get up for work in the morning when they haven't been to bed yet an amazing story of loyalty and friendship between two young woman develops. For Kathleen and Emily it is a daily struggle to stay out of the nuthouse and off the street and all they have is each other. "Chopper paints its characters so vividly that I wanted more to happen in it; I see now that Ryan's design is, shrewdly, necessarily inert. The performances are exemplary. Jen Albano and Christiane Szabo do splendid work as Kathleen and Emily, the former delivering the vulnerability and resourcefulness of her character, and the latter locating unexpected reserves of strength underneath the flighty surface of hers. Paul Megna finds the nobility in the irresponsible Mick-when he makes a pass at a heroic gesture near the end of the play, it's impossible not to be moved. As Craig, the stranger adrift temporarily in this sad world, Jason Kaminsky is outstanding, the stable center of the piece and an enormously sympathetic one, despite his need to move away from it. The production represents the second consecutive triumph for Wildfire Productions, the young theatre company that has mounted Chopper. They've found a worthy script and presented it with respect and care; they've made us look, for a little while anyway, at people who we are otherwise inclined to look away from. How necessary is that?" -Martin Denton, NYTheater.com Appropriate for ages: 16 and above