There is so much new territory for the theater to cover in this super-connected, highly wired world–Google, Twitter, email, hackers, videogames– and a lot of it just doesn’t seem like it could be theatrical, does it? In Mangella, where a computer nerd meets a tech savvy prostitute via Craigslist, there is plenty of theatricality.
Connectivity takes on a whole new meaning in “Mangella,” a play billed as a cyber-thriller, and produced by Project:Theater at the Drilling Company extended through October
In “Mangella,” Gabriella (Ali Perlwitz) is a seductive temptress; her jealousy of Lilly (Hannah Louise Wilson)is only natural since she and Ned (Anthony Manna) have such an intimate relationship.
Gabriella is Ned’s outdated computer. Lilly is a prostitute Ned hires to visit his father, known to himself as Mangella St. James (Bob Austin McDonald), a black blues man.
Ned keeps Mangella, once a dentist named Stephen Frangipani, tethered to a wheelchair in his back room, in the hope that his father will recall memories of the mother Ned lost as a young boy.
Ali Perlwitz as Gabriella_with Anthony Manna as Ned in “Mangella.” Photo by Lee Wexler
While all the actors are excellent, Ali Perlwitz handles a particularly Shakespearean fugue in the play with special finesse.
Ken Ferrigni has written well-observed love story.
Hannah Wilson as Lilly_with Bob Auston McDonald as MangellaSt James in “Mangella.” Photo by Lee Wexler
Joe Jung directs the action at a lovingly fast-pace, balancing the energy and innocence of the characters with the absurdist storyline.
“Mangella” uses video to enhance its action and illustrate its plot in a very entertaining way.
Ali Perlwitz as Gabriella_with Anthony Manna as Ned in “Mangella” engage in videogaming. Photo by Lee Wexler