THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT REVIEW
THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT was performed December 27, 2013 - January 19, 2014 at Arena Players Repertory Theatre
Cassandra Dupler, who previously played Katherine in Arena's "The Taming of the Shrew," a role in which she ate up the marble/concrete scenery in that outdoor production, was Doris the pussycat... She was a Porphhyrean dichotomy…essence and existence, act and potency, substance and accident; her self-perception and the real Cassandra. And this tears at her very being. Dupler was explosive, charming, sexy, tough and almost every other emotional facet she could bring to bear on the defensive (Dean) Schildkraut.
The two confront one another like…well the owl and the pussycat. But special mention must be made of Schildkraut's and Dupler's interfacing and serial revulsion. The emotional tension has to explode in favor of one or the other. Schildkraut's skill as a dramatic actor comes into play after a subtle change from within. Dupler's from an acceptance of what she is, but implying that love in the real sense can exist between them. All this is in a hilarious suicide pact where they plan both to jump from the tenth floor of the Plaza Hotel. Her flightiness and his leaden seriousness combine to thwart any further thought of self-destruction.
Humor is not lacking verbally either: She asks him to read to her because she cannot sleep unless someone does. He begins by reading the nutrition facts from the back of a box, but she objects. So he begins to recite the Gettysburg Address in a mistake-laden effort. She interrupts amid says it's nice to hear the Declaration of Independence, but he corrects her, saying that it is "Custer's Farewell address to the Indians."
Barrels of kudos are due to Schildkraut and Dupler. Their performance skills marked one of Arena's best efforts; a tight coherent script outstandingly brought to life by these two Thespians.
-Charles Morgan, Times Record Beacon of Long Island, 1/2/14