No Exit

Not much happens in the The Prostitute of Reverie Valley. A confusing mishmash of philosophical nonsense, Adam Klasfeld's new play purports to ask questions about the nature of our desires and dreams, and the ways in which we escape the humdrum of our daily lives with promises of answers that will disturb. If only. Instead, the audience is subjected to an hourlong exercise in tedium, highlighted by inaudible performances, messy blocking, and a preposterous script. An unnamed prostitute (Sameerah Luqmaan-Harris) packs up her life, preparing to leave her home and the town that has held her captive for so long. As she is about to flee the mysterious confines of Reverie Valley, a john (Robert Kya-Hill) arrives to stop her. The evening passes, and the two engage in a battle for the prostitute's soul. Secrets are revealed, and truths are proselytized.

Sherri Kronfeld's weak direction muddies the already confusing plot. Her arbitrary staging fails to tell a story. Basic rules of blocking are ignored, with the actors left to flail about the space in a mess of aimless crossing about the stage. Key moments are squandered, and dramatic beats are rendered silly. Kronfeld fails her actors, providing them with no guidance.

Luqmaan-Harris is far too passive as the fiery prostitute. She quietly plays the determined woman with a resignation that runs counter to the character's passionate resolve. Kya-Hill raises his voice to an angry level in all the wrong places and spends the rest of the show acting with his hands, gesticulating to the point of distraction. His character and motivations remain a mystery throughout. Both actors speak so softly that much of the dialogue is lost in whispers.

But the problems begin and end with Klasfeld's script. It simply makes no sense. The characters are ambiguous, and the plot is incidental, secondary to the playwright's self-indulgent notions about the human condition. With little to offer, The Prostitute of Reverie Valley rings hollow.

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