OUR DEAR DEAD DRUG LORD Is One Wild Ride — Review
In the electrifying comedy Our Dear Dead Drug Lord, written by the up-and-coming playwright Alexis Scheer (Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Bad Cinderella), the audience is transported into the vibrant yet precarious world of teenage girlhood. These characters, members of their school’s Dead Leaders Club, gather monthly in an abandoned treehouse, but their meetings are far from ordinary. Instead, they embark on an audacious mission: summoning the ghost of the infamous drug kingpin Pablo Escobar. This premise sets the stage for a narrative that masterfully blurs the line between reality and fantasy, leaving us to wonder whether they are truly meddling with the spirit of the notorious cartel boss or engaging in a captivating psychological game with one another.
The cast of Drug Lord is nothing short of exceptional, breathing life into their respective characters with remarkable authenticity. Lilian Rebelo, in the role of Pipe, leads the group with authoritativeness that belies a tender vulnerability. Ashley Brooke, as Zoom, brings a magnetic energy to the stage, infusing her character with charisma and charm that are impossible to ignore. Samantha Miller's portrayal of Squeeze is both powerful and emotionally resonant, leaving a lasting impact on the audience. Finally, Coral Peña shines in her role as Kit, the new girl, delivering a performance that is as poignant as it is captivating. Together, this ensemble cast fosters a dynamic and compelling on-stage chemistry, entirely believable as high school girls.
In addition to the cast’s portrayals, the audience is further immersed in the world of 2008 high school girlhood with Elena Flores’ specific costume design and François-Pierre Couture’s fantastical set, which is the perfect spot for a summoning. Additionally, Azra King-Abadi’s lights and Veronika Vorel’s sound provide an atmospheric spookiness that serve to underline the message of the play.
Under the expert direction of Lindsay Allbaugh and propelled by the exceptional performances of the entire cast, the production reaches new heights. What sets Drug Lord apart is its ability to intimately explore the human longing for connection while resonating universality. Over four meetings and entirely within the confines of the leader’s treehouse, the play navigates the profound desires, fears, and vulnerabilities of adolescence. As the story unfolds, it becomes a piercing reflection of the essence of our shared humanity.
The play is a whirlwind journey through the treacherous terrain of girlhood, unearthing the hidden perils and scars often concealed beneath the surface of adolescence. Through clever humor and astute storytelling, Drug Lord offers a compelling commentary on the challenges that young women face as they navigate their tumultuous teenage years.
All told, Center Theatre Group’s Our Dear Dead Drug Lord is an enthralling production of a thought-provoking new play that delves into themes of connection, adolescence, and the fascinating interplay between reality and imagination. With its compelling storytelling and remarkable cast, it delivers a rollercoaster of emotions that serves as a poignant exploration of the human condition.
Our Dear Dead Drug Lord is playing at Center Theatre Group’s Kirk Douglas Theatre through September 17. For tickets and more information, visit here.