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Ashley Montana Goes Ashore in the Caicos… Or What Am I Doing Here?

  • Theater, Comedy
  • Recommended
Ashley Montana Goes Ashore in the Caicos…Or What Am I Doing Here?
Photograph: Courtesy Dixie SheridanAshley Montana Goes Ashore in the Caicos…Or What Am I Doing Here?
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Time Out says

Theater review by Adam Feldman 

Roger Rosenblatt modestly calls his literate and very amusing revue Ashley Montana Goes Ashore in the Caicos…or What Am I Doing Here? "almost a play." Plays should be so lucky. Performed by an energetic cast of four, Rosenblatt's show is a collage of brief skits, songs, one-liners and mini-essays poking fun at American culture: an episode of Laugh-In as it might appear in Harper's magazine. (The title refers to the cover line of the 1991 swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated, featuring a blond model in a pose that suggests a constipated swan.) It's a witty portrait of an America at sea, adrift, gone cuckoo for Caicos puff.

Among the subjects skewered on this kebab are groupthink journalism, prisonlike retirement homes, Anglophilia, cell phones and the pabulum of television news ("Adolf Hitler, the controversial German leader..."). Some of the pieces are adapted from Rosenblatt's 2003 essay collection Anything Can Happen; their verbal dexterity is typical of their author and is well-served by Jim Simpson's good-to-go cast, especially the dry, sly Bebe Neuwirth and the daffy, ducky Jenn Harris. And just when it seems that Rosenblatt is content to serve facetiae, he injects a few thoughtful grace notes. "You think I'm kidding," says Jeffrey DeMunn at one point, channeling the playwright's wryly serious voice. Yes, he's kidding, but he's also thinking, and that's the pleasure of Ashley Montana, the bubbling stream of an agile consciousness almost, but not entirely, at play.

Ashley Montana Goes Ashore in the Caicos… or What Am I Doing Here? Flea Theatre (Off Broadway). By Roger Rosenblatt. Directed by Jim Simpson. With Bebe Neuwirth, Jeffrey DeMunn, Jenn Harris, James Waterston. Running time: 1hr 30mins. No intermission.

Adam Feldman
Written by
Adam Feldman

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