Tis the season, and
those jolly holiday elves at New Edgecliff Theatre (NET) have arranged
for us to revisit Mrs. Jocelyn Dunbar of haute suburbia. She comes
complete with a $1.98 blonde wig and a razor tongue, telling her merry
tales of an overachieving older son, an underachieving younger son, a
flame-tattooed, drug-devoted daughter, a crack-damaged infant grandson
and, of course, her philandering husband and his holiday surprise to
the Dunbar household: a screeching, mini-skirted, 22-year-old souvenir
of his wartime romping in Vietnam.
D informs us, understands only one word of English:
“Shopping!” She wears a bikini to Thanksgiving dinner and attempts to
seduce her father and both of her half-brothers. Can anyone doubt that
the Dunbar’s holiday entertainment will include murder?
D is the creation of essayist/NPR commentator David Sedaris and
author/director Joe Mantello. In most productions she fills up the less
effective, less amusing second act of The Santaland Diaries, a pair of
solo-playlets that have become, over the last decade, a welcome
antidote to the saccharine shock of other Christmas entertainments. NET
first presented the show in 2001 and has revived it most seasons since.
Read Tom McElfresh's full review here.