The Capables

Theater , Drama
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Photograph: Hunter Canning
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Photograph: Hunter Canning
The Capables

The Capables. Gym at Judson (see Off-Off Broadway). By Jay Stull. Directed by Stefanie Abel Horowitz. With ensemble cast. Running time: 2hrs 30mins. One intermission.

The Capables: in brief

The considerable Dale Soules, last seen as a proud hillbilly in Broadway's Hands on a Hardbody, plays a hoarder on a reality TV show in Jay Stull's family dramedy, directed by Stefanie Abel Horowitz.

The Capables: theater review by Helen Shaw

Theatergoers familiar with gonzo downtowners the Amoralists are, in some ways, prepared for Jay Stull’s occasionally moving comedy, The Capables. First-time playwright Stull serves as that company’s literary manager, and contact with their profane, farcical, verbose melodramas has colored his initial effort. Sometimes the writing rolls with screwball zing; other scenes ratchet up familial conflict with a nicely masochistic verve. Unfortunately, as a whole, the piece’s pacing lurches and an unnecessary flashback and poorly scheduled plot reveals keep the show seriously off-kilter.

The pitch for The Capables is easy: a reality-show crew upends the life of Anna Capable (Dale Soules), a hoarder they have ostensibly come to help. Broadly accented Southerners (who love that McDonald’s!) and callous Hollywood types intermix, and if the script and director Stefanie Abel Horowitz’s production take a few potshots, at least everybody’s a target. There are several well-judged performances here, including Micah Stock as a zoned-out, sympathetic cameraman and Katie Eisenberg, playing dutiful daughter Jessy. The show, though, belongs to Soules, who rages and mourns and jokes her way across her shifting kingdom, a mountain range of garbage built for her by designers George Hoffmann and Greg Kozatek. Stull is at his best when he’s unleashing venom; Soules, gloating over treasures like a dragon in its den, delights in every drop.—Theater review by Helen Shaw

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