Best New Play - 2012
So My Grandmother Died, Blah Blah Blah
404 NW 26th St.
Miami, FL 33127
Mad Cat Theatre's Paul Tei wanted to explore the impact the Internet has on our lives. His aim was to reveal how communication has been stifled. And with his play So My Grandmother Died, Blah Blah Blah, he channeled our very real struggles with pain, loss, family, love, and resolve through his protagonist Polly's whirling mind's eye. Tei's brilliantly twisted play was an amalgam of witty comedy, textually dense psychodrama, trippy-ass quests of intellectual expression, philosophical meanderings, and comedic kitsch, with some existentialism thrown in for good measure. Melissa Almaguer played Polly, a struggling comedy writer who flew to Hollywood, Florida, from Hollywood, California, to attend her grandmother's funeral and write the eulogy. As she opened her laptop to begin writing, the audience became Alice in Polly's Wonderland of imagination. Her subconscious, made up of four zany "deconstructionists," was the audience's guide on a quest involving lost love, Wikipedia entries, and emotional baggage. It was a furious, frenzied production where we were plunged into the mind of a writer while she trudged through personal issues, relationships with family members, and a challenging career, all while trying to kick a stubborn case of writer's block as she penned a eulogy for her dead grandmother. Writer/director Tei understands that theater doesn't resonate like it should without a nuanced script, fascinating characters, a daring and original story, and just the right amount of crazy. So My Grandmother Died, Blah Blah Blah delivered on all counts.