Ah, hooray. The House of Yes. A play by Wendy MacCleod, popularized in the 1997 film starring Parker Posey and Freddie Prinze Jr., which boldly and hilariously tackles the big issues: incest, celebrity, obsession, and how money and isolation can turn smart people into raving lunatics.
The House of Yes is the inaugural production from Fall Guy Theatre (formerly known as WillieWorks). Fall Guy brings MacCleod's script to gleefully macabre life in a 90-minute, intermission-less show that careens along as breathlessly as the film, while highlighting the script's more disturbing elements in the way only live theater can.
Marty (Joe Bolenbaugh) and Jackie-O (played by Cecily Overman, and so named for her penchant for dressing up as the famous first lady) are twins who have been close from day one, and lovers from, oh, sometime in their teens. When the show opens, Marty has just returned home from a stint in New York, and he's accompanied by Lesly (Julie Jeske), his refreshingly normal fiancée, who is promptly drawn into the sordid world of this profoundly dysfunctional family, thanks to the advances of deceptively naïve younger brother Anthony (Arthur Delaney). Suzanne Owens-Duval, meanwhile, is perfectly unflappable as the wine-swilling matriarch who spawned this motley brood.
Cecily Overman has the unenviable task of playing a role made famous by Parker Posey, and for the most part she pulls it off, with a Jackie-O who is cutting and hilarious and utterly unhinged. One does, though, wish for more restraint at times, as Overman renders Jackie-O's increasing craziness by amping up the volume to a histrionic pitch that is far less compelling than the deadpan remove with which she delivers most of Jackie's brutal one-liners. Joe Bolenbaugh, meanwhile, is particularly good as Marty, torn between a desire for normalcy and a desire to bone his sister.
There are a few hitches here, but for the most part this fast-paced, funny, and fucked-up show is pretty much a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, presuming the crowd can handle a little dysfunction and an incest joke or two.