Drop Dead Perfect OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: John Quilty
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Opening Night:
July 15, 2014
Closing:
August 10, 2014

Theater: Theatre at St. Clement's / 423 West 46th Street, New York, New York, 10036

Synopsis: 

Drop Dead Perfect follows Idris Seabright, a wealthy, eccentric mistress of a Key West cottage that runs her estate with a zany flair. When her beloved ward Vivien decides to abandon the Florida Keys to pursue art in Greenwich Village, and Idris’ lawyer becomes alarmingly interested in her investments, Idris’ life begins its outrageous downward spiral. After she receives a visit from a mysterious stranger who bears an undeniable resemblance to her long-lost love, her life erupts into over-the-top comic mayhem.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Drop Dead Perfect

    A Spinster at the Center of a Madcap Swirl. Cue the Double Entendres. ‘Drop Dead Perfect,’ a Comedy With Everett Quinton

    Anita Gates

    July 22, 2014: In a sweet 1950s peach crocheted dress and matching bolero, Everett Quinton has never looked lovelier. As Idris Seabright, a lonely and overwrought spinster growing old in the Florida Keys, he laments a storm having wreaked “havoc on my African hibiscus — and my poor bougainvillea,” hitting each syllable with that posh Eastern accent that 1930s actresses favored. When a chord of ominous movie music plays, Idris strikes a terrified pose, and we could easily be downtown at the Ridiculous Theatrical Company, where Mr. Quinton and Charles Ludlam starred in the original The Mystery of Irma Vep 30 years ago. Mr. Quinton is a genius. It is absolute rapture to see him in his element in Drop Dead Perfect, a Pecadillo Theater Company production at the Theater at St. Clement’s that originated at Penguin Rep in Rockland County. Drop Dead Perfect has abundant plot. Vivien (Jason Edward Cook), an orphan with artistic talent and a leg brace (“Vivien, you’re a cripple,” Idris snaps), wants to study in New York. The family lawyer, Phineas Fenn (Michael Keyloun), supplies Idris with suspicious pills. A young Cuban, Ricardo (Jason Cruz), pays a visit, setting libidos aflutter. Idris keeps changing her will. And when she’s painting her still lifes, her subjects’ tendency to move annoys her so intensely that she may do something — ominous chord (sound design by William Neal) — horrible.

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  • STAGE AND CINEMA REVIEW OF Drop Dead Perfect

    Off-Broadway Theater Review: DROP DEAD PERFECT

    Dmitry Zvonkov

    July 22, 2014: Delightful in an over-the-top yet grounded and sympathetic portrayal of Idris Seabright, a well-off spinster obsessed with memories of her long-gone Latin lover, Everett Quinton is the jewel in Joe Brancato’s sharp and whimsical staging of Erasmus Fenn’s hilarious melodrama Drop Dead Perfect. The entire four-person cast is a joy to watch, their antics overcoming an emotional disconnect which occurs for the first half-hour or so. Ironically, the exaggerated performances and the play’s parodic nature, which create so many uproarious moments, hinder our investment in the characters’ stories, at least for the beginning, making that section less than gripping; the jokes are excellent but in between my attention span lagged. Fortunately, as the production continues, the occasional cloudbursts of humor turn into a downpour, and by the end of Drop Dead Perfect I found myself swimming in laughter.

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  • AMERICAN THEATER WEB REVIEW OF Drop Dead Perfect

    'Drop Dead Perfect' - Southern Gothic Antics

    Andy Propst

    July 21, 2014: Passions run high, secrets threaten to boil over, and camp theatrics are rife in Erasmus Fenn's melodramedy Drop Dead Perfect, which opened last night at Theatre at St. Clements. It's frothy theatrical fare for late summer theatergoing, with elements of Southern Gothic films like Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte running up against Greek tragedy, Tennessee Williams, and even I Love Lucy. The bounties of the production extend well beyond the copious genres and tropes that Fenn packs into this 90-minute show. It looks terrific through and through. James J. Fenton's scenic design offers a simultaneously elegant and creepy recreation of a living room in a posh Florida Keys home, Ed McCarthy plays witty tricks with his lighting design, and William Neal's sound design cleverly and amusingly references classic film themes, from Laura to Psycho. And then there are Charlotte Palmer-Lane's costumes, gorgeous (and gently funny) fifties ensembles that range from fitted suits to perky housedresses to alluring(ish) negligees which are sported by Everett Quinton, who's playing (in his inimitable fashion) Idris Seabright, the lady of the house. Wildly rich and decidedly eccentric, Idris enjoys a life of luxury in her home where she spends her time painting (but only if her subjects are perfectly still) and has as her companion Vivien, a young woman whom she has raised since birth.

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  • THEATRE IS EASY REVIEW OF Drop Dead Perfect

    This adults-only comedy with a queer twist is silly and well-acted, but not destined for immortality

    Regina Robbins

    July 21, 2014: The Florida Keys. A rich spinster. A would-be artist in a leg brace. A visitor from Cuba. A frustrated magician. These are the building blocks of Drop Dead Perfect, an original play that spoofs 1950s film and TV. The final product doesn’t really make sense, even as a wacky comedy, but it gives four game performers plenty of room to do their thing. Drop Dead Perfect stars Everett Quinton, a legend of off Broadway theatre, as Idris Seabright, an eccentric woman of means with a painful family history. Idris’ nearsighted, disabled ward Vivien (Jason Edward Cook) aspires to a bohemian artist’s life in New York, but Idris is determined to keep her from leaving home. When Ricardo (Jason Cruz), a long-lost relative, arrives with a gun and a sob story, Idris and Vivien’s already tense relationship is further strained. Meanwhile, Phineas (Michael Keyloun), the family lawyer, is kept busy doing Idris’ errands, trying to win Vivien’s love, and performing bad magic tricks.

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  • NEW YORK DAILY NEWS REVIEW OF Drop Dead Perfect

    Everett Quinton goes wild in 'Drop Dead Perfect'

    Joe Dziemianowicz

    July 17, 2014: No one gets a freak on — or a frock — quite like Everett Quinton. He’s one of a kind, known for his gender-bending work at the Ridiculous Theatrical Company and beyond. In Erasmus Fenn’s comedy, caked with double entendres and iced with 1950s melodrama and R-rated humor, Quinton play the increasingly unhinged Idris Seabright. “She’s a gargoyle of a gal who is murderously psychotic,” the actor says. “I can bring so much to the role.”

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