Running from September 28 - November 18, Fridays & Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 4pm The Victory Theatre Center, 3326 W. Victory Blvd., Burbank, 91505
Set in the rough and tumble world of advertising, “Show Pony” is a brilliantly funny and deeply perceptive glimpse into how things really work in a modern “progressive” advertising agency with its pseudo-culture of sham enlightenment, all the while stubbornly clinging to its "Mad Men" roots.
Tom Ormeny and Maria Gobetti have a knack for finding playwrights with important things to say about our world.
Bianca Lemaire Marshall McCabe
They are drawn to material that shouts loudly and defiantly about inequality, injustice and the ever emerging evidence that we have little to no control over our lives. “Show Pony” is a play that takes its place along side some of the best work I have seen at The Victory and in Los Angles as a whole.
A high flying advertising company is in flux having just merged with a smaller up-and-coming, ‘urban’ company peopled by smart and experienced black employees with their eyes firmly on the bigger and more powerful and more international accounts that whiter companies tend to hold. Conversations about race abound in a fascinating and compelling diatribe on accidental racism and thoroughly intentional sexism.
The plot is set around one particular team from this ad company formed from some original employees, two white women and two black women from the newly acquired company, meeting after hours in a conference room. They wait for their fearless leaders to show up so they can go over their next morning pitch to a new and potentially lucrative client. The leaders are no shows since it's late and they give various week excuses. So the youngest and most hungry of the group, a sweet blonde haired pleaser, takes the lead and together with her newly met black equivalent pull together something better than the usual tired misogynistic claptrap they have been told to prepare.
Elle Vemee Sionne Elise Lizzy Kimball Bianca Lemaire Krystel Roche
Of course, there are egos and subterfuge and age-old resentments and epiphanies and life-altering treachery….but not by the talented and capable women, Oh no, by the men of course. But really, all that ridiculous male rubbish isn’t what it’s really about. Their childish, fear-driven and totally illogical lies about how the world is are to be expected and are almost excusable in a way when you look at them through the lens of the ancient and now irrelevant lore of ‘the man.’ But what I liked the most about this play is that it isn’t spending too much time complaining about the glass ceiling, its characters aren’t bent on commiserating about how tough their situation is or how hard it’s been for them. There is a little of that sure, but they shake it off pretty quickly and move on to how they can and will control their own lives and their own destiny by simply deciding to.
That’s really what power is, isn’t it? Once you realize that you can just leave and everything will change simply because it has to, that you are never really stuck in a cycle of anything if you don’t allow yourself to be. This play is about a group of interesting, intelligent and powerful women simply saying “no” and moving on, and leaving no regrets in the dust as they do. They don’t have the time or the inclination to waste a moment ranting or regretting. When they make their choices it’s as natural and as glorious as mother nature intended and the comedy and the joy is in the realization that everything is about perception and being, and just walking away from what doesn’t work.
The characters are real, purposeful and cleverly imagined. The actors fill them out with beautiful comic timing and a loving individuality that makes you want them all to be your best friends forever. The writing is very, very clever, but the conversations still feel natural, authentic and they actually go somewhere wonderfully genuine.
It’s all set in an advertising agency, but this could be about any business in any part of this country, or many, many others. “Show Pony” is fantastically relatable and sharply, warmly and lastingly brilliant. Its characters resonate in important and memorable ways that rise above cheap confrontational maneuvers giving us heroines with nerve and courage and humor…just the kind we all need right now.
Women don’t always need a man to push against, sometimes we just need another woman to stand beside.
I highly recommend “Show Pony” at The Victory Theatre Center. Another wonderful and unique play about our crazy world…Bravo!
Sionne Elise - Tara
Bianca Lemarie - Destiny
Lizzy Kimball - Sam
Elle Vernee - Patricia
Krystel Roche - Omolola
Marshall McCabe - Walker
Maria Gobetti, Tom Ormeny, Katie Witkowski - Producers
Jennifer Brown - Stage Manager
Evan Bartlett - Set Designer
Carol Doehring - Lighting Designer
Lauri Fitsimmons - Costume/Props
Studio Fuse - Graphic Design
David Duarte - Sound Designer
Chelsea Sutton - Social Media
Jeff Kober - Onstage Slides, with model McCallah Moriarty
Tim Sullens - Photography
Gail Bryson - Literary Manage