Friday, April 6, 2018

The Wolves: ☼ ☼

I've read the universally laudatory reviews of Sarah DeLappe's "The Wolves," and have spent several days wondering what I missed. The idea of a girl's high school soccer team (we think -- perhaps a local team unaffiliated with a school) whose players stretch and practice on stage as they prepare for an upcoming match is a fascinating one. Unfortunately, with nine women talking at once, whose voices are basically occupying one sound frequency, it was practically impossible for us to make out much of the dialogue.

The players are given numbers instead of names. Standout performances are given by 46 (Neiry Rojo), the new girl who is made fun of but turns out to be a crackerjack player; 7 (Emma Roos), who tears her ACL after she has had a spat with 25, the Captain (Sango Tajima); 00 (Betsy Norton), the goalie with the nervous disorder and 11 (Portland Thomas), the philosopher with the two therapist parents. Nicole Apostol Bruno (13) has an interesting side story going with Emma Roos. But every character has her moment.

There is a tragedy at the end, which leads to triumph of a sort. Life goes on and the game must be played.

Most reviews we have seen speak of female empowerment being central to understanding this show. This is true. These young women are bonding for a shared purpose while learning to face the world as the strong adults they will soon be. For us, the execution, not the concept, is where the show fails to deliver.


The San Francisco Theater Blog Awards Division awards "The Wolves" Two Stars, one for Neiry Romo and one for Sango Tajima. However, we don't feel it is ready for a Must See recommendation at this moment.

"The Wolves"
Marin Theater Company
397 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley
EXTENDED Through April 15, 2018

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