by Adam Cohen . . .
Kate Hamill’s BadAss GalBoss Power Hour (Mandatory Meeting – 11/18/2020), streams through October 13th presented by Primary Stages. The play is a Zoom meeting of a group of women (and one man) who are part of a multi-level marketing sales company. Together, they move vitamins, skin toner, and make up while attempting to recruit and retain sales staff in order to rise in the ranks, earn more money and prizes like a mountain bike.
Armed with sales cliches and empowering statements like “you are strong, smart and skinny enough,” boss Carla (Miriam Silverman) attempts to open her sales meeting. She’s joined by husband Jonathan (Jason O’Connell) – new to the team – in his mancave with their dog. Sales star Marianne (Maria-Christina Oliveras) has a new recruit Mona (Krystal Lucas). While Sherry (Kimberly Chatterjee) is having second thoughts about the whole enterprise and poor Lily (Hamill) can’t find the un-mute button.
The play is an hour-long meditation on workplace dynamics, work, and female empowerment. Hamill tows a fine line, fending stereotypes against whipsaw lacerations from the more skeptical members of the sales team. The cast is game building tension at the meeting and complications arise. Director Moritz von Stuelpnagel garners fine performances from the ensemble. Each performer crafts a unique persona.
If you’re not Zoom’d out, zoom in on Hamill’s sharp commentary. She comments on the nature of work and the relationships between co-workers and management…especially among friends and lovers. Who has power? What’s the value of our friendships in light of work? And when are we in too deep, unable to see our way out? Streaming information available at primarystages.org