As our country heads into its quadrennial knock-down-drag-out-fight for most powerful person in the world (an event also known as the Presidential Election), playwright Victor Cahn’s Dally with the Devil reminds us that sometimes behind every mudslinger is someone even filthier, fusing together dirt and water.
In this case, the resident smirchers are two women running opposing Senatorial campaigns: Irene, a retired academic whose devotion to the campaign of a newcomer running for office leads her to revisit a rocky relationship from her past; and Megan, a hard as nails but somewhat naïve campaigner determined to see the incumbent remain in place.
These two women share a common goal: to use the talented and guileless Charlotte, owner of an influential political blog, to help smear her opponent. Charlotte’s not keen on being a pawn and sets a game in play between the three women where no one may win.
There is work to be done in this play, by both the actors and the audience. Cahn’s dialogue can be a bit stilted and there are a lot of elements to digest in order to keep up with intrigues of his characters. The actors are up to the task, especially Elizabeth A. Davis (The 39 Steps, The Misanthrope), who imparts an uncomfortable steeliness every time she enters the room; with a bit more experience and a better grasp of intelligentsia-speak, her character Megan would be a real contender against the big boys of politics. Rounding out the cast are Erika Rolfsrud (Exit The King, The Coast of Utopia, Rabbit Hole) as the muckraking editor, Charlotte, and Elizabeth Norment (High, Blithe Spirit, Plenty) who plays Irene, Charlotte’s morally compromised former professor. Eric Parness directs.
Dally With The Devil
Theatre Row’s Beckett Theatre
Through October 8, 2011
Tickets can be purchased at www.telecharge.com or by calling 212-239-6200.
For more information, visit www.dallywiththedevil.com