Theatre Review: Wickets

A new comedy in NYC set inside an airplane

If the thought of getting on a plane is still somewhat stressful after the recent Hudson River emergency landing, despair no more. The new play Wickets is here to take New Yorkers on a very groovy ride.

Wickets is a play based on Maria Irene Forbes’s Fefu and Her Friends, adapted by Jenny Rogers and Clove Galilee’s production company, Trick Saddle. While the original play was set in 1935, Wickets takes as its set a 1971 transatlantic flight from New York to Paris.

Set in what looks like the interior of an actual airplane, Wickets is an often-insightful look at the early years of widespread feminist thought through eight stewardesses’ lives (not yet the politically-correct “flight attendants” of our day). The ladies in Wickets interact with the passengers much the same way we’re used to—with a forced smile, they serve the masses in an impersonal manner, at the same time discussing the most private (and sometimes embarrassing) details of their lives with one another.

What really makes the play, though, is its excellent use of physical comedy. As the sexy stewardesses run around the plane pointing water guns at each other, it’s impossible not to feel like a part of their game. Christina (Katie Apicella), the feisty newcomer among the group, is especially hilarious, at times sucking on ice cubes laced with bourbon and getting frustrated at losing a game of plane-croquet (which is where the play derives its name- “wickets” are the hoops used in croquet).

Meanwhile, the two lesbian characters of the play, Cecilia (Jona Tuck) and Paula (Elizabeth Wakehouse) are actually very convincing as they confront one another about a love affair that ended years ago. The ladies briefly rekindle their old feelings with a public kiss, though by the end of the play their future as a couple is still uncertain.

Everything else aside, it’s the small touches that make Wickets such an enjoyable ride. Contemporary details like the tickets that look like boarding passes and the audience being asked to put their belongings under their seats are offset by music from the 60s and 70s and even a retro smoking zone located in the back of the plane. All in all, Wickets is a flight that’s definitely worth taking.
Wickets will run through January 25, Thursday thru Sunday, beginning promptly at 8pm, with a special performance on January 24 at 3pm. All performances held at the 3LD Art and Technology Center, located at 80 Greenwich St in New York, NY.

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