© 2001

The legendary, reclusive Krisit is in her 70s, way too over the hill to be a movie starlet; Peter is in his 50s, way too over the hill to be a young movie director; Lulu is in her 30s, almost too over the hill to be on the list of most influential under the age of 35. How can they face the world? How can they make a deal? How can they all fit into the same bathtub?

Clifton Players

Commissioned by A Contemporary Theatre,
Krisit was premiered by Primary Stages, NYC.

What do you get when a bunch of folks from the neighborhood decide to put on a show and coincidentally they happen to be some of the best theater professionals in town? You get KRISIT, which has the charm of being by a group of Clifton residents in the tiny storefront theater space of Clifton Players (of course Clifton, where did you think?) and the advantage of top-notch production values rarely achieved on the smaller, semi-pro theater scene. They came together because they specifically wanted to do this play by Y York, who lives about three minutes drive further down Ludlow Avenue. What is Krisit? Actually, it’s a who, played by Dale Hodges, whose presence alone could probably sell-out the show’s run, given that there’s seating for maybe 60, evenly divided on either side of the stage. A red carpet and red velvet rope connects a massive whirlpool tub at one end and a cocktail bar set up at the other. Hodges has a ball playing a reclusive and peevish former movie star who hasn’t left her home in 25 years. When the show opens she’s lolling in her tub, wearing make-up and flashy jewels and being the sharp, brooks-no-argument grand dame with her new maid Lulu (Landree Fleming) Lulu is clearly role-playing. She’s entirely too knowledgeable about Who’s who and who’s doing what to who in Hollywood. She reads the industry press a little too avidly and she’s awfully eager to lure Krisit out of retirement. In no time Lulu is taking a meeting with director Peter (Kevin Crowley), who has a history with Krisit, and a stalled career that makes him desperate to have a project green-lighted. York uses the set-up to have fun commenting with engaging (and occasionally brutal) honesty on many things, including the insults of aging. Krisit has a leakage issue; Peter trades in wives for younger models to convince himself he still has whatever it is he needs to tell himself he has. ...York’s voice is distinct as she reminds us how myopically we see ourselves even as we are blind to key truths; and about our relentless pursuit of ambitions which are generally not worth relentless pursuit. York also shows off a demented imagination with things like her solution for what to do with lipo-suctioned fat. ... Mark Lutwak expertly directs and Anna Goller is responsible for the polished scenic design. The contribution of costumer Gordon DeVinney is inestimable. What with Krisit being in a tub, it’s DeVinney who makes her so much better than naked, in an artful unitard that makes the reality of aging hilarious and sympathetic. It’s a joke with real power that endears the show to its audience. In the second act it’s Lulu who’s in the tub, and of course the audience is hoping for a trifecta and gets it. Fleming, a former Playhouse intern now based in Chicago, is very good as wannabe Hollywood player Lulu and Crowley, a member of Clifton Players, is funny and sad as Peter, who seems trapped in the 70s with his guiding crystal and leisure suit and David Soul hair, despite the play’s time being set as “a few years before the end of the last century.” -- Jackie Demaline, Cincinnati Enquirer

Clifton Players

Last night I went to see Y York's new play Krisit at Clifton Performance Theatre....York's play, staged by Mark Lutwak, is a ribald comedy with a point to make about aging and superficial behavior. Hodges plays Krisit, a onetime Hollywood starlet who has been a recluse for years, hiding from cruel comments by media vultures, fed by jealous or wounded colleagues. Most particularly, she seems to have been victimized by Peter (Kevin Crowley) based on a long-ago potentially romantic encounter that went astray. He remembers things differently, of course, and believes he was the wronged party. Stirring the pot — or at least the hot tub — is LuLu (Landree Fleming), a desperately aspiring producer who has wangled her way into Krisit's life as a fawning domestic in hopes of parlaying the connection into a career-making hook-up for Krisit's return to the screen. All three characters are obsessed with age, every one of them lying about how old they really are — in L.A., where being over-the-hill might as well mean being dead. York's script and the three actors milk a great deal of humor out of all of this tale ... The actors get to have a lot of fun with York's script, which ranges from vicious to witty and back again. Hodges captures Krisit's vulnerability, but also her steely core. Fleming's LuLu is no match for her, but we see her gears spinning constantly. And Crowley's Peter, trying to reignite a career that never really struck a flame before, is great fun to watch as he lapses into interior monologues that he realizes everyone is listening to. His desperate exchanges with his "crystal" are especially amusing — as well as revealing. When they converge in and around the hot tub for the final scene, well, it's adult situation comedy at its best. -- Rick Pender City Beat

2 female, 1 male
flexible setting

Download Excerpt

Clifton Players

available from
Broadway Play Publishing
in Plays By Y York Volume 2