Fringe Review: ‘Gorgeous Raptors’

Tiffany Garfinkle as Elise, Yoni Gray as Justin, Kathleen Alvania as Kaballah. Photo by Chelsie Lloyd.

The Disreputables (formally The Disreputable Woman) return to Capital Fringe with another interesting and well done piece of theatre. Last year it was David Mamet’s Boston Marriage and this time we go in the completely opposite direction with Gorgeous Raptors by Lucy Alibar.

This is the story of two woman Kaballah (Kathleen Alvania) and Elise (Tiffany Garfinkle) and Justin (Yoni Gray), the man who fell in love with both of them. Kaballah teaches Elise how to become a raptor, which is an animal that can defend itself against rape and other horrible things. Justin happens to like Raptors and desperately wants to fall in love with one. There is your set up.

For something lighter in this play, Kaballah comes from the only Jewish family in town and has to play an angel in the annual Christmas pageant with a drama teacher that censors himself so as not to swear in front of his students. His attempts at being a god fearing Christian are hilarious.

…a gripping, important and wonderful piece of theatre with great acting and direction.

Kathleen Alvania turns in a gripping performance as Kaballah. Dressed in an army jacket, Alvania’s performance shows us that there is plenty of young talent in DC and Alvania is one that I hope will be noticed by some big theatre company. Tiffany Garfinkle’s Elise is equally as engaging and in her scenes with Alvania the two ladies have great chemistry together in what are two very difficult roles to play. Yoni Gray’s performance of Justin is really solid and as the drama teacher, Mr. Degage, Andrew Ferlo is hysterical.

Director Lee Mikeska Gardner has the hard task of directing this show in The Shop at Fort Fringe which is in the round. Gardner rises to the challenge and makes full use of the space including the wrap around balcony. No matter where you sit in the venue you will get the full effect of the play.

Gorgeous Raptors has a lot to say about some very important issues. The Raptor girls don’t fit in society and, with Justin wanting to date one, it proves that just because you are different does not mean you don’t belong.

The Disreputables are donating 50% of the proceeds to the DC Rape Crisis Center. If you go to see Gorgeous Raptors consider making a donation to this very worthy and important organization.

Gorgeous Raptors, as presented by The Disreputables, is a gripping, important and wonderful piece of theatre with great acting and direction.  It is a show that needs to be seen for what it has to say and, by seeing it, you will bear witness to the lovely work that The Disreputables are putting forth.

Running Time: 45 Minutes.

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About Elliot Lanes

Elliot Lanes has been a professional stage manager/sound designer/board op for over 20 years. After relocating to Washington, DC from the New York City area and marrying the girl of his dreams Jennifer Perry, he has been privileged to work on productions at Theatre J, Synetic, Prince George's Community College and Studio Theater to name a few. He has contributed designs for many shows in the last three Capital Fringe Festivals, two of which garnered critical raves. He is also the creator of MD Theatre Guide's highly successful 'A Quick 5' column.