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A production of Genet’s The Maids starring actual housecleaners? What’s next?

By David Cote

This week rising experimental company Sister Sylvester opened its take Jean Genet’s transgressive classic The Maids (last seen in a starry, incoherent version starring Cate Blanchett at Lincoln Center Festival). Sylvester's big idea: For this noirish crime thriller about lesbian sister-servants who plot to kill their mistress, they cast actual professional housecleaners. With postmodern, hall-of-mirrors, self-referential panache it's called The Maids' The Maids.

Our own Helen Shaw will review later this week, but the concept got us thinking about other classics that could use a strong dose of literalism.

Exit the King starring Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia. We are not suggesting for a moment that His Royal Highness should endure the existential crisis faced by Eugène Ionesco’s fictional monarch Berenger I [nervous laughter], just that it would sell lots of tickets. And you can bet all the reviews would be glowing—simply glowing!

The Doctor’s Dilemma starring Doctors Oz and Zizmor. George Bernard Shaw’s 1906 play about medical ethics—in which a doctor with a cure for tuberculosis must decide whom to treat—could use the Ozian bump. Zizmor can understudy/play Wednesday matinees.

The Boys from Syracuse starring four dudes from Syracuse University. Rodgers & Hart’s classic musical spin on The Comedy of Errors just needs two pair of undergrads willing to “sing for your supper.”

One Man, Two Guvnors starring Chris Christie, Andrew Cuomo and some random guy. If the heads of two big states can’t put aside regional and political differences for the sake of showbiz, what hope is there?

Cats starring one hundred fuzzy, furry, cuddly, cutie-pootie cats and kitties. Buy premium seats and you get to cuddle the snookums and maybe even take one home!

Guys and Dolls starring a couple of guys playing with dolls. Family friendly!

Lady in the Dark starring…Sarah Palin?

Tweet us your ideas @TimeOutTheater


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