If you're gonna go weird, you need to commit to it. That's the point most playwrights foracquire. In most modern plays that deserve to be classified as "weird," the weirdness usually fades out by the end; it is transdeveloped into "quirky," "twee," or even worse, "precious."

Thank God, then, for the warped creative mind of playwright/actress Halley Feiffer, that harnesses the weird to complete, gory result in How to Make Friends and Then Kill Them, an uproarious and deeply unsettling brand-new dark comedy at Rattlestick Playwcivil liberties Theater. In a pitch-perfectly piquant staging directed by Kip Fagan, this one embraces the weird and manperiods to make the audience squirm in gleeful horror not when, not thrice, however 6 times.

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At the play's center are a pair of sisters, Ada (Katya Campbell), the pretty one via low self-esteem, and Sam (Keira Keeley), the smart, cunning one with a sly method of understanding simply which buttons to press. When wannabe actress Ada unexpectedly renders a frifinish in the form of the cripplingly shy, pockmarked Dorrie (Jen Ponton), Sam, an aspiring cartoonist, won't let it slide. Feiffer charts the sisters' connection with their brand-new "friend" from youth to adulthood. And if you assumed they were screwed up as innocent children that danced approximately the room to Toy Story template "You've Got a Friend in Me," just wait until they become much less innocent, disenchanted grown-ups.

Perhaps the script owns its weirdness a little also totally right here and also tbelow, however in its entirety, it's an eye-popping development to Feiffer's occupational as a playwright. Many exceptional is the method she transforms the "beautiful, stupid blonde chick" stereokind on its ear. Ada — friendmuch less (other than for Dorrie) — is a sad sack doing not have in confidence who inevitably transforms to the bottle bereason her fear of rejection is as well intense. (One of the play's 6 squirm moments requires Ada's descent right into alcoholism when we discover out that her and Sam's drink of choice is a Jack Daniels and milk.)

Ada is played through an immensely recognizable humanity by Campbell, that impressively charts the character's descent from son to adult. She is evenly matched by the stern, scarily manipulative Keeley, and Ponton, in a wrecking off-Broadmethod deyet that imbues the innocent Dorrie via the many frightening of huguy qualities: unconditional love. As a trio, they're unafrassist to play up the strongly physical nature of Fagan's manufacturing, prowling around Andromache Chalfant's eerie set (also even more eerily lit by Tyler Micoleau) favor caged lions at feeding time. When the personalities grow older, it's via a simple adjust in Jessica Pabst's age-correct costumes.

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Equally laugh-out-loud funny, jaw-droppingly gross, and also thoaround sad, How to Make Friends and also Then Kill Them isn't for everyone — especially if you don't have a high tolerance for face-licking. But even those people, whoever they are, will certainly instantly acknowledge how Feiffer's unique, refreshing voice is one to which attention need to be paid.