The Good Girl follows Anjali, a government-issued madam, who provides a robot who has been experiencing human-like emotions. When Ven, the mechanic, comes to save the day and fix the sex robot, the pair engage in an intimate bond of work and play. As the sex robot becomes so humane that more clients seek refuge with her, Anjali and Ven venture down a deep, dark hole of emotions that are unwarranted. With a gamut of styles, playwright Emilie Collyer’s science-fiction dark comedy explores the central theme of human connection. The Good Girl is fantastically absurd. Or is it absurdly fantastic? Either way, The Good Girl is unique. Clocking in under an hour, Collyer doesn’t offer fluff, getting to the point and never straying. For those looking for something consistent stylistically, this is not a play for you. Spanning from something in the realm of sitcom to noir thriller, The Good Girl covers it all. But it’s the way that Collyer structures her piece that establishes the evolution of Anjali and Ven’s relationship. She incorporates an exquisite cadence of dialogue. By shifting from fast-talking to moments of measured stillness highlights the intimacy of the story. With the intricate dialogue being what it was, perhaps Collyer ran into trouble in the science fiction element of the world, meaning she relied on the audience to catch on fast. And it’s possible that didn’t happen. While she kept most of the terminology accessible, we don’t really know why we are where we are. It gets lost.
Bringing this play to life relied heavily on trust and chemistry. Thankfully, the duo of Giacomo Baessato and Leah Gabriel played nicely off of one another. Baessanto has Chris Pratt leading man qualities. He’s a little bit goofy but lovable and passionate. Ven could easily have been played like a stereotypical repairman but Baessanto crafted a character that was more dynamic and interesting to watch. Leah Gabriel’s Anjali was filled wit strength, determination, and a heart that burst out through the tense situation. Gabriel gave Anjali a grounded demeanor to start but just as her sexbot began to unravel, Anjali did too.
|photo by Lloyd Mulvey|
The Good Girl is a play for those who seek theater that’s a little bit weird and a lot a bit off. This is not your average dark comedy. Emilie Collyer has a vision of absurdity that allows her themes to echo.