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Theatre Review: B Street Actresses Hatch Original Campy Comedy About A Women’s Camping Trip

  

Sacramento’s B Street Theatre is premiering a new comedy called “Treatment,” about three women camping in a state park. The show stars the three actresses who wrote the script. What begins as noisy satire develops a bit more depth as the story unfolds.

Ah, the restful sounds of nature, where three old friends can enjoy a retreat together and reconnect. But that is not what happens in this play as these women shatter the forest calm early on.

“Well, I don’t want to do either of those things.” “Rox, stop, you’re upsetting the forest.” “Well, I am?” “Well, you sound like a wounded animal.” “Holy crap, what was that?” “Something very big and very close.” “Bear! Bear!! Omigod, it’s a bear.”

As it turns out, a few things got left at home by mistake. Like, the food.

“I am so hungry!” “Of course you are. You have no fat supply for your body to feed off of.”

These ladies spend lots of time baiting and berating each other. And when they start sipping on whiskey, and eventually need to pee, one of them brings out a surprise – a portable camping toilet … basically a bucket with a seat on top, which is placed in a prominent spot. It quickly becomes the centerpiece of their conversation.

“Please don’t sit on your camping toilet and make eye contact.” “Have a seat, try it out!” “Why doesn’t everyone try it out? Does anyone else want to sit on our camping toilet?”

But after an hour of such fun and games, the story pivots. It turns out each of these women is getting over a hidden personal crisis. And the belly laughs gradually morph into mutual forgiveness and a hymn to sisterhood.

Actresses Stephanie Altholz, Tara Sissom and Amy Kelly are all playing themselves to a degree in this show, and they’ve written material that favors their strengths onstage. This broad and slightly bawdy farce is unlikely to win literary honors. But because I liked the second half, I did enjoy it as a custom-built vehicle for these three popular local performers, who are B Street regulars with a loyal following. And yes, before the play is done, they polish off the whiskey, and as you might expect, the portable camping toilet gets a center stage demonstration, replete with appropriate sound effects.

The B Street Theatre’s production of the original comedy “Treatment” continues in Sacramento through June 4.

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Jeff Hudson

Contributing Arts Reporter and Theatre Critic

Jeff Hudson has been contributing arts-related stories to Capital Public Radio since 1995, with an emphasis on theater and classical music. He attends over 100 performances annually, ranging from modern musicals to medieval masses.   Read Full Bio 

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