First Class


Hate Mail


Written by Bill Coorbett and Kira Obolensky

Directed by Catherine Zambri

Monday Morning Productions (

The Independent Theatre, 52 West 8th Street

Equity showcase (closes June 2nd)

Review by Michael D. Jackson


Bill Coorbett and Kira Obolensky’s funny and engaging comedy Hate Mail showcases the talents of Jason Cicci (Preston) and Danielle Ferland (Dahlia) as the two battle out an unlikely romance through letters and other forms of correspondence. Ferland is known to most everyone as the original “Little Red” from Into the Woods. She is a treat in this up close and personal character study. Likewise, Cicci brings comic flair to the play, directed with a sense of variety and a good pace by Catherine Zambri.


The story follows the growing relationship between two people who couldn’t be more opposite from each other. When Preston sends multiple complaint letters to Dahlia, an assistant manager at a Times Square gift shop, she eventually loses her job and becomes a poster child for bad customer service. Her reputation smashed, Dahlia vows to get even with Preston. A series of volatile letters ensues and the pair find an unconventional attraction towards each other.


The play is given in an 85 minute act, just about right for this particular story and the reader’s theatre nature of the presentation, which takes its cue from Love Letters. Maruti Evans’ set offers a palette of letter and post card images with a pair of desks and rolling chairs for the actors to work with. The look is simple, attractive and appropriate. Other design elements are sparse, but all contributions added to the whole, creating a unified production. The overall production is a delight and makes for a light hearted and enjoyable evening at the theatre.


Box Score:


Writing: 2

Directing: 2

Acting: 2

Set: 2

Costumes: 2

Lighting/Sound: 2


Copyright 2007 Michael D. Jackson


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