Life + Arts

Sundays are always better ‘on the Rocks’

The UH production of Theresa Rebeck’s play “Sunday on the Rocks” wrapped up on Sunday in the Quintero Lab of the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for Performing Arts. The play was directed by Stephanie Holliday Earl and featured an ensemble of Chelsea Holmes as Elly, Kristen Canterbury as Jen, Shannon Mullarkey as Gayle and Danielle Bunch as Jessica.

Stage direction was carried out very well, and the limited space offered by the Quintero Lab was used wisely. The set design, though simple, was inviting, realistic and didn’t take attention away from the work of the ensemble — rather, it only added to their performance. Costumes were casually done, as the actors wore their own clothing for the play. As the play was set on the back porch of their house, lighting accurately represented the different times of day as the play went on.

The script may have allowed several comedic moments, but one certainly felt strong emotional elements throughout the play. After deciding to indulge in a scotch for breakfast, Elly reveals to Jen and Gayle that she is pregnant and wants an abortion. With the other two girls joining in on the new breakfast of choice, they spill all of their feelings about men, sex and their distaste for their fourth roommate Jessica. When Jessica comes home from a rendezvous with her boyfriend, Jefferey, she finds the three girls sharing a drunken bonding moment on a very messy back porch.

“Sunday on the Rocks” not only features strong emotional content, it also builts the relationship between each girl as the show progresses. Holmes portrays Elly as a strong and defiant woman with a level of uncertainty and general stubbornness. Canterbury’s character, Jen, is seen as the independent girl who is not yet ready to settle down, but certainly enjoys casual sex from time-to-time. Gayle, Mullarkey’s character, seems relatively uptight and unwilling to step out of line until scotch infiltrates her system. Bunch’s character, Jessica, brings laughter to the table in Act II with a pretentious, holier-than-thou attitude. Her true colors come out in a face off with Elly when she reveals the truth about her less-than-perfect relationship with her boyfriend, Jeffery.

The play did have a few unconvincing reactions by the actors to the many controversial topics in the first scene. Regardless, “Sunday on the Rocks” was definitely an estrogen-filled good time.

Additional reporting by Aicardo Rivera.

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