The Colby Sisters of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at The Tricycle Theatre
Written by OBIE winner Adam Bock (The Thugs, The Drunken City) and directed by Trip Cullman (previously described as “Off-Broadway’s IT Director”) The Colby Sisters of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is a black comedy, profiling the high class lives of five sisters. Whilst the performance oozes stately glamour and unachievable sophistication, the reality is far from the truth.
With an all-female cast, the production lays bare the lives of the Colby sisters, living the upper-class and Upper East Side New York lifestyle. Throughout the 75 minutes, the focus is skewed heavily towards detailing the intricate relationship between the sisters: how they intertwine, influence, and bitterly destroy each other, despite each sister being painfully etched with the sweet smiles only dollar bills can bring. The production and scripting is slick, with expert casting. Claire Forlani (Meet Joe Black, Mallrats), playing Willow, the most understated of the sisters, successfully makes the transition from the big screen in her theatrical stage debut.
Seemingly and realistically a world away from its gritty North London home in the Tricycle Theatre, The Colby Sisters is so high-flying and glossy that it’s painfully difficult to empathise with the sisters through their tumultuous and media-scrutinised lives. Slightly constricted by the size of stage, The Colby Sisters would easily embrace a larger, more glamorous setting. Slightly marred by this, the first half of the performance struggled to establish a flow, though the audience audibly enjoyed the constant but very slight undertones of dark humour throughout. It was a welcome relief from the Dynasty style theatrics when events became more sinister, throwing relationships into turmoil and stripping the girls bare of their McQueen ball gowns and tiaras. Playing the villain, Charlotte Parry embraced her role as Gemma, the overbearing, disgruntled and emotionally undernourished bully of the family. Her commendable performance was fulfilled with the audience desperately loving to hate her.
The Colby Sisters would like to be Sex in the City, but really it’s Mean Girls come Real Housewives of Whatever. Hiding behind a veil of grandeur, you’ll love to hate these high-society girls, and know absolutely no one who lives this lifestyle. Probably, or most definitely, a good thing.
The Colby Sisters of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is at the Tricycle Theatre until 25th July 2014. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.
Watch actress Ronke Adekoluejo in The Colby Sisters video blog here: