The Good Girl is Provocative Theatre
Award Winner by Emilie Collyer
By: Deborah Heineman - Feb 18, 2016
The upstairs theatre at 59 E. 59 Theaters is tiny, barely accommodating the set of stove, sink, table, sofa and a couple of chairs. This is the “home/office” of Anjali (Lean Gabriel), from which she supervises her sex-bot charge in the room next door and hides from the rest of humanity. But from the moment Ven (Giacomo Baessato), the repairman who lives down the hall and who “tunes up” the sex robots whenever they need it, walks through the connecting door to let the reserved, even hostile, Anjali know that his job is done. The tension between the two is palpable.
Now, in this future world fearful of disease and committed to only controlled encounters -- preferably between humans and carefully programmed robots rather than between two actual, flesh-and-blood humans -- that is just totally unacceptable, and sure to lead to disaster. Which is what the next intense, often funny, sometimes sad, and never dull 60 minutes are all about.
Anjali and Ven dare to break out of the roles that have been assigned to them. They dare to dream of something more – perhaps a privileged life as one of the “select” – the patrons who enjoy the services of the sex-bot Anjali supervises and teaches. But for that they will need cash.
Anjali has figured out a way to make “her” robot more in demand than the others in the building: She makes her less perfect and accommodating; more like a “real girl” in fact, with regrets and demands and moods. Surprisingly, the customers like it and are willing to pay extra. When Ven discovers this he agrees not to report Anjali to the authorities – but only if she cuts him “in” – and also allows him to watch her cook real food (apparently another “too real” pleasure that has been regulated out of existence for the common man).
One thing leads to another and soon the two protagonists are crossing all sorts of lines, defying the rules, and liking it – revealing sides of their natures to themselves and to each other that they never knew existed. Problem is, the sex-bot next door is learning by listening – and her clients are going to suffer some dire consequences that will have repercussions for them all!
The Good Girl is presented by Joyseekers Theatre, and directed by Adam Fitzgerald. Tamara Sevunts provides the voice of “her” and the design team of Dan Daly (sets), Kaitlyn Day (costumes), Zach Blane (lighting) and Julian Evans (sound) is superb. The Good Girl will be at 59 E. 59 from February 11 – 28. Tickets are available by calling 212-279-4200 or online at www.59E59.org