This weekend, in between paint touch-ups, replacing/moving furniture, and all the other work we’re trying to do around the house, we escaped for a date night to see a local production of The Smell of the Kill.
The story involves Nicky, Debra, and Molly – all apparently financially comfortable women who are married. They get together once a month for dinner, taking turns in each other’s houses. While their unseen spouses play golf in the next room after dinner, the entire story plays out in the kitchen and each woman’s prejudices and opinions about the other comes out. They also learn that each of the other marriages is on the brink for unique reasons:
- Debra’s husband is leaving her for another woman and forcing her to move out of their home.
- Nicky’s husband has been indicted for embezzlement.
- Molly’s husband is stalking and tormenting his wife.
As the play occurs, many of the old woman-on-woman resentments play out: Debra thinks that Nicky should stop working after having a baby to focus on the child, the Nicky knows that leaving her job would kill her. Nicky thinks Debra made a huge mistake leaving her job because her husband can’t keep up with the financial needs of their family. Molly acts as the comic relief and buffer between the two, but she comes with her own messy package as well – she’s having an affair with another married man and longs desperately for a baby.
Woman-on-woman resentment and judgments go way back as we all have an opinion about whether the other is doing their thing right or not. The thing is, each of these women – just like women in the real world – are dealing with the stuff life is throwing at them the best they can.
While it was dark humor and really a lot of fun, I kept wanting to hear the other side. Now, give me just a second here. What I wanted was this play as it was – it was really good, then an intermission, and then the men’s point of view. Yes, it’s a devilishly wicked play and hilariously mean, but I still would like the other side. I think that the play could be just as dark and mean and funny and still tell both sides. I don’t know what that would do to the ending, but I think it would make a far more rounded play.
All the woman-on-woman resentment aside, the guys in the play really did their part to support their wives’ opinions of them. They were crude, rude, and disrespectful by and large (except stalker-husband and he was just clingy and weird), so if this is what the women are dealing with, I can’t blame them for their choice. I won’t spoil the ending, however, it’s totally worth it.
You can read the review in the Colorado Springs Gazette.
P.S. Just in case you’re wondering, Mr. Man laughed a LOT, so it’s dark but funny for both sides of the team.