I think it unfair that this play about young millennial women should be reviewed by an old baby boomer. That said, I did enjoy Clean Slate (written by Catherine Chabot, translated by Jennie Herbin, and directed by Leslie Baker). A story which has six, (count ’em six!) young women cavorting on stage and drinking like there is no tomorrow, is intriguing. The women have gathered in a remote setting and the set, designed by Peter Botazzi was minimal and near perfect. There were a large number of long sticks to indicate cottage and or forest. The communal table and chairs were also sticks configured for purpose and easily dismantled.
The script addressed the obsessions and ideas of these rather lovely young woman and it was more than 50% dedicated to sex. As someone who came of age during the sexual revolution, I do not remember being so obsessed with the subject. The description and debate over different mates and their abilities in the bedroom are frankly quite boring for anyone not participating. That meant the for over half the play we waited for a topic of somewhat more substance.
Except for the doctor, the playwright did not seem to think that career or work was a useful topic. Politics, and even sexual politics also not worthy of mention, and forget art or literature. The woman would slap their thighs and yell “Shot!” at intervals which became increasingly closer as the play continued and it was less and less obvious why they were still standing upright if they were drinking. There were also other anomalies; how was it possible that six women including a medical doctor could not come up with twenty two dollars for a pizza?
I suspect that the lack of weighty subjects the dedication to sexuality and the addictive energy of the play appeals greatly to women under thirty. The acting was very uneven but the blocking and direction was full of great configurations and rhythms. It was a great joy to experience the very professional direction of Leslie Baker, as this community can use more and better directors.
Clean Slate is at La Chapelle Theatre (3700 Rue Saint-Dominique) (514) 843-773 until March 30. For tickets and information, click HERE.