A love triangle of biblical proportions

Bumping Umbrellas

(Originally reviewed at Surf Reality)
By Kymberly Harris Riggs
Directed and choreographed by Kate Marks
Pantheon Theatre
303 West 42nd Street 2nd fl. (646-623-3488)
Equity showcase (closes Feb. 24)
Review by Elias Stimac

Dance, drama, avant-garde images, and biblical metaphors are all featured elements of Kymberly Harris Riggs's thought-provoking play, Bumping Umbrellas.

As rhythmic music started to play, Nadja (Bat Parnass) and Lou Siffer (Dan Kastoriano) slunk into the vintage store they run, setting up items while setting each other's hormones on fire with a seemingly forbidden dance of desire. Breaking their revelry is a young mother from across the street, Evie (playwright Harris), who brings her baby by for a curious look at the curiosities. But soon it was apparent that the dark duo have other plans in store for their neighbor, who is obviously not getting enough attention or affection from her husband. Seduced into a night of sin by the two thrift-store gypsies, Evie takes a metaphorical fall from grace and finds herself caught up in a dangerous dilemma.

Riggs brings up some interesting points in her script, questioning fidelity and freedom as her lead character gets drawn deeper into the shopkeepers' web. Kate Marks staged and choreographed the piece for maximum effect, playing up the humorous moments to balance the sexual sequences. Together these women have created a unique vision of how one indiscretion can change the course of many lives - much like the original temptation in the Garden of Eden.

The acting was also to be commended. Parnass had the showiest role as the flippant French gypsy, while Kastoriano was deliciously low-key in his devilish role. Riggs had the most challenging role, that of a straightlaced woman seduced in a matter of minutes, and sensitively instilled in her character a longing for romance and passion. The technical elements were uncredited but imaginative given the black-box setting.

  Box Score:

Writing: 2
Directing: 2
Acting: 2
Sets: 1
Costumes: 2
Lighting/Sound: 2

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Copyright 2003 Elias Stimac