Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Review: Molly's Rainbow Will Brighten Your Day

By Ed Malin

Have you met performer Andrea Alton?  If you’ve seen her around FringeNYC or Madison Square Garden, you will remember her smile and serious goofiness.  In any case, you should definitely not miss the chance to see her show Molly’s World, currently running in the 12th annual Frigid Festival.  Mark Finley directs Andrea’s beloved rainbow character, Molly “Equality” Dykeman in an outpouring of poetry and songs you remember.  Alton, winner of the Doric Wilson award for LGBTQ playwriting, and Finley, the Artistic Director of TOSOS (The Other Side of Silence) are tireless advocates for the community.
Opening act Jerry (Allen Warnock) sports an eyepatch and regales us with stories from the underbelly of Hollywood.  He proudly tells his mother that he is up for a Daytime Emmy, and she replies that she always knew he was gay.
Then Molly, wearing a rainbow cape over a glow in the dark vest, enters to the 1970s disco theme to Wonder Woman.  She is a poetess/security guard at P.S. 339 in the Bronx.  And she f*’n hates kids.
Photo by Jenny Rubin
You will get a lot of brutally funny honesty from Molly.  Some of the show is self-deprecating: “I would take the knee, but I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to get up again.”  Some is empathetic: “Everyone is depressed since the Cheeto-head got elected. 700 mg doesn’t cut it anymore”
She had an “a-tiffany” and resolves to go on a mission to entertain the city. Sleeping with all the women in New York would be nice, too.
We go through some of Molly’s recent and childhood memories.  All she wanted for Christmas was pharmaceuticals, but she was given a spit DNA kit.  Now she knows she is part Iberian, which she assumes means her ancestors were librarian ladies.
We then hear about her Grandma D. over in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.  She wasn’t the kind of woman to make you Spaghetti O’s or comb your mullet, but she could stitch up your knife wound.  Luckily, six year-old Molly was visiting her Grandma when a couple of 1970s lesbians moved next door. They had  the usual lesbian quilt for picnics, and Molly knew she was going to be like them.
The show is full of gems of utterly normal and amazing situations.  One time, Molly approaches a lady poet and proudly buys her chapbook with $3 in quarters.  She rhapsodizes about a beauty whose skin is so porcelain, she can see China.  She dedicates the poem “You're a f*’n asshole” to a long list of predatory men in the entertainment industry.  Also, she muses that girlfriends get “territorial”, i.e. they become crazy b@tches when you start sleeping with other ladies.
Molly grows up and finds love. With whom? Well, she was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar, that much is true. More 80s songs follow. Bananarama's “It’s a Cruel Summer” gets the full music video dance treatment. Not to mention the dancing bear toy which plays “It’s Ladies Night”, a classic which Molly enjoys.