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    2008-2009 reviews:
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      Angry Little People
    Diary of a mad housewife

    The scrambled dialogue of a woman trying to be the perfect wife, best friend, glamour girl and social sensation starts to add up in the complex and engaging one-woman rant "Angry Little People."


    Talented actress Maggie Cino can transform herself from '40s movie vamp to '50s wholesome housewife to pre-Prozac anxiety case with just a change of expression — which she does, almost line by line, in a one-woman nervous breakdown called "Angry Little People."

    Written by: Carolyn Raship and Maggie Cino.
    Directed by: Carolyn Raship.
    Based on "Cigarette Waltz" by: Philip-Dimitri Galas.
    Cast: Maggie Cino.
    Fringe Festival 2000

    • Fringe overview
    • Angry Little People
    • Charlie Victor Romeo
    • Compensation
    • Finally
    • The Monument
    • Thankless Jobs of the Apocalypse
    • Verbatim
    • Woman in the Animal Kingdom

    • Fringe 2001
    • Fringe 2001 listings
    Cino plays Helen — "Happy Helen," she calls herself when she's battling to maintain a cheerful facade. Sometimes she imagines herself as renowned actress Connie Love or as the center of attention at fabulous dinner parties. Other times, she confides in best-friend Betty about hubby Joe, who seems to be nothing special in the hubby department — he just happens to be the Joe she settled down with when the record stopped in her personal game of musical Joes.

    These seem to be the general dimensions of the story of Helen. But it takes time to piece them together, because the play starts as a series of disconnected sentences like a cubist painting — all the pieces seem to be there but they've been rearranged and it's not initially clear how they fit together. Maybe these are snippets of real conversations or maybe they're the conflicting voices in her head. As the show goes on, the different threads coalesce into maybe two intermingled conversations and the outline of Helen's life starts to come together.

    It's a strange but seductive performance that's almost as demanding of the audience as it is of the star. We have to hold together the many threads of rapid patter to follow Helen's journey from vixen to model wife to closet crackup. Interestingly, even though Cino never once indicates that she's playing a woman of the '50s, the setting seems clear (the woman sitting next to me had exactly the same impression) because the character comes from the pre-feminist moment when a woman most had to keep this kind of inner turmoil hidden behind a mask of contented prosperity and domestic bliss. So the clues to her state of mind remain subtle and scattered until the threads are increasingly woven together. It's a show that demands your attention and rewards you with dark humor and smarts.

    AUGUST 21, 2000

    Reader comments on Angry Little People:

  • Carolyn Raship   from Steve, Oct 12, 2001
  • Re: Carolyn Raship   from Carolyn Raship, Oct 17, 2001
  • Re: Carolyn Raship   from arthur rotfeld, Apr 8, 2005

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